FAIR Committee reports to City Council

Henderson City Council member Lynn Harper, chair of the city’s Finance and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, directed the report of her committee to the City Council at its regular meeting on Monday evening.

First, Interim City Manager Jerry Moss distributed to the council a list of surplus items to be auctioned by the city and a timeline of events preceding the auction itself. The auction will be held February 13 through February 17. The items up for auction, which range from used city vehicles and big ticket appliances to incubators and filters will be available for inspection and bids during the above dates.

City Attorney John Zollicoffer reminded the council that it should delegate the authority to reject any and all bids. The property was then declared surplus by the council in a roll call vote.

Harper then told the council that it would be a good idea to give the Interim City Manager the council priorities for the city budget before he begins work on the budget. She expressed the need to set a meeting. After some discussion, Henderson Mayor Clem Seifert set the date of the meeting for February 8, 2006. The Interim City Manager had called for budget priorities by February 6, a deadline that will presumably be extended. Seifert stated that the meeting day would be scheduled in such a way that council members would be able to attend the part that most concerns them if they were not able to attend for the whole day.

The newly appointed chair of the FAIR Committee then discussed events that occurred after her committee met on January 12. She advised the council that when she had adjourned the previous FAIR Committee meeting and convened the ad hoc committee that discussed the city’s legislative priorities, it did not occur to her that the meeting was illegal. She noted that although a reporter was present for the Daily Dispatch, the other local media sources, WIZS and Home in Henderson, had not been notified.

“I made a mistake and I take full responsibility for it,” she told the council.

Acknowledging that the meeting was not held correctly, and that three council members, Garry Daeke, Bernard Alston, and Lonnie Davis were not notified, she offered those council members apologies as well.

She informed the council that despite the absence of three council members that the priority requests that they had turned in previously had been used by the ad hoc committee. She told the council that the priorities were submitted on January 17 and were well received.

Seifert added that the priorities would be confirmed at the council work session on February 8. Zollicoffer advised the council that they may wish to consider re-requesting a commercial building code.

Harper stated to the council that it was the consensus of the FAIR Committee to deny the library board’s request for an additional $16,000 for this budget year. A motion introduced to that effect passed unanimously. Council member Bobby Gupton told the council that he had been informed that the library would only operate 41 hours per week if the funding request was not approved. Moss was directed to write a letter to the library board stating that the request for additional funding had been denied.

It was reported that the bill from the Ferguson Group, a firm that formerly provided lobbying services to Henderson in Washington, D.C., had been paid. Seifert informed the council that the city had complained about some of the charges and they had been taken off, resulting in a small anticipated refund.