HOUSTON – July was a busy month for Houston aldermen.

The board met four times to discuss and deal with topics ranging from final changes to the alcohol ordinance, refunding a Civic Center deposit and approving a new municipal clerk, according to board minutes.

Here’s a breakdown of what happened at each meeting.

July 22 minutes

Mayor Parker called the meeting to order.

Mayor Parker gave the invocation.

Willie McKinney was absent from the meeting. Mayor Parker turned the floor over to City Attorney Elizabeth Ausbern to elaborate on the final changes to the alcohol ordinance as they pertained to the State ABC Law. After much discussion, Frank Thomas made a motion to approve the alcohol ordinance with noted changes. Barry Springer seconded. All Ayes, except Willie McKinney who was absent for the entire meeting. Motion carried.

Frank Thomas made a motion to adjourn. Barry Springer seconded. All Ayes, except Willie McKinney who was absent for the entire meeting. Motion carried.

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July 15 minutes

Mayor Parker called the meeting to order.

Frank Thomas gave the invocation.

Lisa Easley presented to the board Antonique Jennings’ request for a Civic Center deposit to be refunded. Shenia K. Jones made the motion to give the money back. Willie McKinney seconded. Kellie Atkinson asked Lisa Easley to get the deposit book to see when the deposit was made and how that tied to the date requested. Shenia K. Jones called for question. Frank Thomas and Kellie Atkinson voted no. Barry Springer was absent. Tie was broken by Mayor Parker who voted yes to give the deposit back. Motion carried.

Mayor Parker asked the Board to go over any changes they wanted to make in lieu of their review of the Alcohol Ordinance. The board discussed several items and made some minor changes. Shenia K. Jones asked about the order of the City issuing the Business License for Beer and/or Liquor sales. Lisa Easley said the business will get their State license first and present it to City Hall in order to get their City Business License. She also asked about ABC spot-checking businesses to make sure they weren’t serving minors. Sheriff Meyers said ABC will do spot-checking if a complaint is warranted. Elizabeth Fox Ausbern recommended adding no billboard displays pertaining to alcohol, until a sign ordinance could be rendered. Lisa Easley explained that the Mayor had suggested that upon approval to publish the notice of public hearing, the ordinance and the historical map also be published.

Kellie Atkinson made a motion to publish the Notice of Public Hearing, the Preliminary Ordinance, and the Historical Map giving the public a two-week notice of the hearing. The Notice will publish on July 24 advertising the hearing date as Aug. 8. Willie McKinney seconded. All Ayes, except Barry Springer who was absent.

Frank Thomas made a motion to adjourn. Willie McKinney seconded. All ayes, except Barry Springer who was absent. Motion carried.

July 11 minutes

Mayor Parker called the meeting to order.

Lisa Easley gave the invocation.

Mayor Parker presented applications for Public Works to the board for potential hiring of one person now. Mayor Parker and Rock Eaton previously talked to one of the applicants who previously worked for the City, Robbie Walls. Mayor Parker recommended bringing Robbie Walls back based on his versatile abilities.

Frank Thomas made a motion to hire Robbie Walls at $11.50/hr. Barry Springer seconded. All ayes. Motion carried.

Frank Thomas made a motion to renew the SRO contract for Kevin Moore. Willie McKinney seconded. All ayes. Motion carried.

Lisa Easley recommended that Deana Thacker be made Municipal Court Clerk for the City of Houston in order to begin her certification process.

Frank Thomas made the motion to make Deana Thacker our Municipal Court Clerk. Barry Springer seconded. All ayes. Motion carried.

Frank Thomas made a motion to adjourn. Barry Springer seconded. All ayes. Motion carried.

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July 2 minutes

Mayor Parker called the meeting to order.

Shenia K. Jones gave the invocation.

Frank Thomas made a motion to approve 5/23/2019 minutes. Barry Springer seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent for the entire meeting. Willie McKinney and Shenia K. Jones voted yea. Motion carried.

Barry Springer made a motion to approve 6/04/2019 minutes. Frank Thomas seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent for the entire meeting. Willie McKinney left the meeting. Shenia K. Jones voted yea. Motion carried.

Barry Springer made a motion to approve 6/06/2019 minutes. Frank Thomas seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent for the entire meeting. Willie McKinney was still out of the meeting. Shenia K. Jones voted yea. Motion carried. Willie McKinney returned to the meeting.

John Freeman requested that the Board vote to move forward for the following advertising:

Trailhead – Frank Thomas made the motion. Shenia K. Jones seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent for the entire meeting. Barry Springer and Willie McKinney voted yea. Motion carried.

Sidewalk – Frank Thomas made the motion. Barry Springer seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent for the entire meeting. Shenia K. Jones and Willie McKinney voted yea. Motion carried.

Streets – Barry Springer made the motion. Frank Thomas seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent for the entire meeting. Shenia K. Jones and Willie McKinney voted yea. Motion carried.

Shannon Building – Frank Thomas made the motion. Willie McKinney seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent from the entire meeting. Barry Springer and Shenia K. Jones voted yea. Motion carried.

Sean Johnson thanked the board for their support for homecoming. He also answered questions concerning the progress of the old theatre building.

DeWayne listed three properties by the same land owner, Charles Griffis, that need to be cleaned up: 103 Judy, 502 ½ Airport Road, and 515 Airport Road.

Barry Springer made a motion to clean up all three properties. Frank Thomas seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent from the entire meeting. Shenia K. Jones and Willie McKinney voted yea. Motion carried.

Mayor requested to set a meeting on July 11 to review new hires for Public Works. Barry Springer requested that Lisa Easley pull the Salary Structure comparison for 2018 and current year to have at the meeting. She told Barry that she would and planned to have the budget amendment ready as well.

Frank Thomas made a motion to have a special called meeting on July 11. Barry Springer seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent for the entire meeting. Shenia K. Jones and Willie McKinney voted yea. Motion carried.

Mayor allowed Antonique Jennings and Marquena Pannell to speak. They wanted the Civic Center either free of charge or at a reduced rate for their Macro Project for Back to School. Shenia K. Jones invited them to join up with the existing Chickasaw County Back to School program. They said they had already advertised for it to be held July 14. Shenia K. Jones interjected that the Houston High School Senior luncheon was not exempt from payment. Therefore the board refused to give them the Civic Center free of charge nor at a reduced rate.

Billy Voyles requested permission to advertise for Full Time Police Officers. Barry Springer made a motion. Willie McKinney seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent for the entire meeting. Frank Thomas and Shenia K. Jones voted yea. Motion carried. Billy went on to say that with the coordination of the Fire department and Chickasaw county, the Homecoming celebration went well.

Jonathan Blankenship said they had answered 353 calls ahead of this time last year. Sixty-seven percent of the calls are medical. He said the Fire Academy for Kids would be July 22,23,25 & 26. July 10 is the deadline to sign up. It is for ages 8-13. It will be from 6-9 p.m. He also said they were continuing to make building improvements. He also mentioned that the board might want to be thinking about purchasing a new fire truck within the next four years.

Barry Springer made a motion to pay the claims. Frank Thomas seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent for the entire meeting. Shenia K. Jones voted yea. Willie McKinney voted to pay all but Billy Hoblitzell due to his overtime. Motion carried.

Barry Springer made a motion to adjourn. Shenia K. Jones seconded. Kellie Atkinson was absent for the entire meeting. Willie McKinney and Frank Thomas voted yea. Motion carried.

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