The Cleveland town council met for its regular monthly meeting last Thursday.
At the outset, Mayor Jerry Jones said he wanted to clarify some statements made previously regarding the town’s park board and the most recent Labor Day Festival. Jones acknowledged there were some expressions of disappointment in the event made by some council members including himself. He went on to say, “We were not accusing them [park board members] of misrepresenting the town. There are really dedicated people on the board. They’re sincere and want to do everything to help kids. I really appreciate them.” Councilman Doug Hill said the board is planning to produce a different event this year in lieu of the annual Labor Day Festival, something along the lines of an Ole Timers Day and/or a car show.
Jones explained the current park board by-laws require five of the seven members be town residents and there are term limits, making it difficult sometimes to fill a vacancy. He proposed the council consider rescinding the residency requirement, and the council voted unanimously to do so. The town’s attorney was instructed to rewrite the by-laws and present them at the next regular council meeting. (Members are not compensated.)
In other park business, the council agreed to renew the park’s concession contract with Kala Thomas and provide lunch for those who turn out for a work day at the park. No date has been scheduled yet for the latter.
The mayor presented the council with a SouthernLinc proposal for the replacement of the current communication system. The changeover would cost about $100 more each month, he said, but will give the town twice the number of radios (10) and better service overall, and will be compatible with Blount 911. The proposal calls for a one-time fee of $109.50 for carriers and $240 per month for the service. The radios are provided for free. The council agreed without dissent.
Town clerk Michele Hicks told the council the voting machines require a software update and the update had to be reported to the Secretary of State’s office. Jones noted this is something that has to be done prior to the upcoming election. The council approved the ordinance required to fulfill the town’s election obligations.
The council voted unanimously to purchase:
• two tables for the Blount County Oneonta Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards dinner for $250 each.
• an animal crate, heavy duty gloves, and catch pole for the police department for times when the county’s animal control officer is unavailable. The estimated total is less than $500.
A request from the Blount County Animal Adoption Center for a donation of $2,606, an amount based on population, failed to be voted on for lack of a motion.
Mayor Jones closed out the meeting by reporting the town had received thank you notes from Jodi Hudson, Connie Millwood of the Blount County Career Technical Center, and Lisa Kennamer of the Blount County Learning Center. All were for grants the town provided through the Blount County Education Foundation. He also presented a note of thanks from The Blount Countian for the town’s business.
The council is made up of Mayor Jones, Hill, Tommy Swindle, Sherry White, James Bynum, and James Sullivan. White and Swindle were not present. The council’s regular meeting is the second Thursday of every month, at 7 p.m., at the town hall.