GOODMAN -- The city council in Goodman re-addressed the topic of Ordinance No. 2022-545 and the creation of a deputy tax collector position at a lengthy regular meeting on Tuesday.
The ordinance in question allegedly states that aldermen are permitted to place an item on the agenda without prior approval from the mayor.
Mayor J.R. Fisher claims that Ordinance No. 2022-545 was never voted on and signed into effect. He noted that the finalized ordinance cannot be found in the archive nor can the subsequent meeting minutes recording those votes be found.
Alderman Clay Sexson, equipped with his own copies of meeting minutes, said that the ordinance was first read on Jan. 26 and the second reading was held on Feb. 1. He said that the vote was 4-0 in favor of the ordinance both times.
Mayor Fisher noted that Jan. 26 was a unique date because the former city clerk resigned that day. He claimed that no votes were able to be taken until Feb. 9 as a result.
"I have a problem with council members coming to city employees and telling them what to do," said Alderman Hallmark. "But, if someone comes to you, J.R., and wants something on the agenda, it should be put on the agenda."
No motions or votes on the matter were made.
On the matter of a deputy tax collector, Alderman Hallmark said she spoke with the tax collector in Pineville about Pineville's procedure. Hallmark was told that the staff members there are considered deputy tax collectors, which allows them to collect payments and write receipts.
Alderman John Bunch asked if Hallmark spoke to the county tax collector or Pineville's city tax collector. Hallmark said she was unsure.
Alderman Bunch explained that the county collector's employees are funded by the state and county. He said they are also unable to collect past-due taxes; only the city collector is able to do that.
"How will we compensate a deputy clerk? Out of the tax collector's 15% commission? I don't see how that's fair," said Alderman Bunch.
Ultimately, Alderman Hallmark made a motion to appoint a deputy tax collector. There was no second, and the motion died.
The council also heard from McDonald County Chamber of Commerce representative John Newby in regard to securing a grant to rehab Main Street. Alderman Hallmark asked if the city must own the buildings that would be revitalized. She also asked what type of constituent support would be needed to move forward. Newby said he would need to do more research, but recommended a public hearing for input.
In other business, the council:
• Granted a business license for a family-friendly, coin-operated pool hall at the location of the former Redneck Cafe;
• Conducted the first and second readings of Ordinance No. 2022-546-A, amending the previous ordinance to correct the sewer rate;
• Received proposed 2023 budgets for review before the next meeting;
• Authorized Alderman Hallmark to be a check signer;
• Opened and reviewed audit bids, ultimately accepting a bid from KPM Auditors in the amount of $16,000;
• Heard reports from department heads;
• Paid bills in the amount of $17,324.61.