In July 16 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
The Russell Springs City Council met in their regular monthly session last Thursday, spending just over an hour in executive session on "proposed or pending litigation" after agenda business items were taken care of.
After coming out of the closed portion of the meeting, Mayor Hollis DeHart announced that no action had been taken.
Upon that announcement, Councilman Timmy Hudson made a motion to enter into an agreement with Walther, Roark, Gay & Todd, PLC, a Lexington law firm that concentrates its practice in the fields of governmental affairs, real estate law, employment law, education law, general civil litigation, bankruptcy law, collections law, corporate law and immigration law.
Councilman David Blakey then seconded that motion. Besides Hudson and Blakey, council members Ricky Barnes and Lisa Mann voted yes to the agreement while council members Ray Barrett and Eric Selby voted no on the agreement.
The council then had a special called meeting on Saturday morning at the request of Councilman Ricky Barnes for a review of Thursday's vote. At that meeting Barnes amended his vote to 'no,' causing a 3-3 tie among the council.
Under these circumstances, the mayor can either vote to break the tie or abstain from voting, according to City Clerk Wendy Burton.
In this case, DeHart chose not to vote and the proposal to enter into an agreement with the Lexington law firm failed.
Also in the closed session on Thursday were city attorneys Don Byrom and Matt DeHart as well as Russell Springs Police Chief Joseph M. Irvin.
In other happenings at the meeting:
• The council conditionally accepted the lone sanitation bid from Morgan Sanitation for pickup of city residences garbage. The fee is $9 per month for each city residence.
DeHart and the council agreed to look into going into a multiyear contact with Morgan Sanitation for the city's services, possibly for two or three years.
"I think that would be probably the best way to go," he said.
• Councilman David Blakey commended the city for its work on the Russell County Independence Day Celebration that took place last weekend at Veteran's Fairgrounds in Russell Springs.
"As far as I know everything went well and we had a good turnout, considering the weather," Blakey said.
The mayor also voiced his approval of the event, which had only about a month of planning time.
"Everybody did such a good job," DeHart said. "I have never worked with a better group of people in my life."
DeHart also thanked the Russell County Jaycees for their cooperation and the use of the facilities.
"They did a good thing for us," he said.
The mayor said the city would be publishing a public acknowledgment in the local newspapers in the coming weeks, thanking volunteers, vendors and the public who made the celebration a success.
• The city renewed a contract with Paul Combs, Human Resources consultant. Combs has worked in this capacity for many years and has been vital to the city's success, DeHart said.
Combs works with the city through a memorandum of agreement, with a retainer fee of $150 a month.
"As long as I've been here, he has always went out of his way to help the city," said longtime city leader Ray Barrett.
Overtime fees are applicable if Combs does work over time in a given month.
• City leaders heard and accepted the second reading of the Compensation Ordinance 2009-06, which set the city's salary scale for the current fiscal year.