Monthly Archives: January 2016

Health & Wellness Committee

Included on our next agenda is an item about creating a committee with the goal of identifying opportunities to promote health and wellness in our community.  Group “health walks”, 5K runs, and health challenges could all be scheduled and facilitated through an interested group of individuals willing to donate a small amount of time to make a big impact on our community.  I have a couple of people I am targeting, but we need some volunteers to not only be part of the committee, but also help with potential events.

If you are interested in becoming healthier or helping others become healthier, I encourage you to take part in this effort.  We will have the community, life, and relationships we work toward.  Creating fun and family inclusive events through smart planning and marketing is one of the main goals of forming this board.  There are some ideas I personally have, but collaborating with capable and informed people could exponentially make my own ideas better and vice versa with the ideas from people making up this group.

We already have events within the city we could enhance to include healthy living aspects such as our Haunted Depot and 1890’s day.  It would be easy to add things like a 5k zombie run and obstacle course race to these events.  Creating groups that could support and encourage each other through healthy eating and exercise challenges could be organized independent of existing events.

I will post updates and opportunities to take part as well as program information as we complete the committee formation process and move toward setting goals.  If you have a specific interest and would like to take part, please e-mail me at MayorMillwood@gmail.com with things you are willing to do from being a committee member to volunteering to make events run smoothly.

Vibrant Produce

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Jan. 25, 2016 Council Meeting

We began the meeting with a local scout requesting to build an additional 2-3 “Little Libraries” as a part of his Eagle Scout project.  We approved up to 10 on city property when the program initially began, and this was a welcome opportunity to expand our program that Jill Richmond (a teacher at Ringgold Middle) initiated for the city last year.

We had 4 zoning cases, 3 of which were approved with unanimous votes, and one that was tabled until a future meeting.  The 3 that were approved consisted of a property being annexed into the city, a rezone from R3 to O1 of a property that lies between our business and residential districts, and subdivision of property with a slight variance for development considerations.  The case that got tabled was a situation in which an incorporation wanted to have a zoning change from R2 to R3 which would have allowed them to construct a duplex in a single family housing area.  There were persuasive arguments made both for and against, but the council ultimately voted to table (delay) and seek council from the city attorney before making a final decision.

We also approved the countywide 5 year plan that Catoosa County, Ft. Oglethorpe, and Ringgold jointly worked on to identify improvement opportunities throughout the county. The council had representatives present during the planning process and we are going to look at the recommendations comprehensively at an upcoming meeting.

Randall also presented the renewal for our local Emergency Planning Committee so that I could sign off on the city being a voting member.

We also worked through some decorum issues in regards to how the meetings should run and how members of the council and the public interact.  I shared some of what I had learned from our Charter and other cities’ processes to the council, and they seemed willing to work within the charter to make the meetings run smoothly.  The start we have had within the meeting environment has been encouraging.

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1-19-16 Council Meeting

The council voted to make some changes to our charter (the rules governing our city) at our last council meeting.

The first change the council made was to add a section in the charter that required the council to review the compensation the council receives every odd calendar year.  In effect, the point of the addition is to give the council the opportunity to review how much the council receives in compensation without the need for a specific  council member to have the stigma of adding it to the agenda.  Personally, I will never ask for a raise, but I hope they don’t decide to take any Mayoral pay away.  I knew what I was getting into when I ran, and the $6,000 I make a year is fine by me.

The next change was to add something to the Meetings section of our charter that allowed 3 council members to cancel a special called meeting that has been called by the mayor or vice mayor.  Currently, the mayor, vice mayor, or 3 council members can call a meeting, but cancelling a special called meeting may now be done by 3 council members.

Next, there were conflicting sections within the charter about what constituted a quorum (the number of people needed to conduct city business and vote).    We resolved to define a quorum as 4 members of all the council.

The next change was in the section defined Council Interference with Administration.  The best way to state this change is to contrast the old with the new.  The old sentence read, “…the city council or it’s members shall deal with city officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the manager solely through the manager…”, and the new sentence will read, “…the Mayor, city council, or it’s members shall deal with city officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the manager solely through the manager…”.

The next change was to deal with conflicting explanations for how the mayor’s seat is to be filled in the case of a vacancy.  One section read that the council elects a replacement while another read the Vice Mayor acts as mayor until a replacement is elected.  We made both sections read that the Vice Mayor will replace in case of a vacancy.  Hopefully no one on the council is trying to get rid of me yet, but we needed to fix the discrepancy in what happens if the mayor’s seat becomes unexpectedly vacant.

The last change was to make an exception within the Charter to allow for someone from the council to be on our Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB).  The CVB asked that one of our council be included in their board to facilitate communication between the city and the board.

I’ll keep you updated on how these changes affect decision making in the city moving forward.

 

 

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