Cooling Off at City Hall

Reporter – Leigh Hester –

New business in the City Council Chambers Monday night (September 26, 2011) includes the appointment of Council member Michael Rainey as “Chairman Pro Tem,” an honorary title which places him third in line to fill in as acting mayor in the event Mayor O’Geary and his appointed Mayor Pro Tem are both unable to fulfill the duties of the office. With Council member and Mayor Pro Tem Lonnie Davis in a rest home recuperating from his illness, the Council decided it best to have a second “stand-in” should anything occur to cause Mayor O’Geary to be unable to act as Mayor.

The heat won’t be a cause of Mayor O’Geary’s issues, because the Mayor is set to get a new air conditioning unit in his office. The current unit is estimated to be over 20 years old and has cost $400 this year alone to repair. The new unit cost is estimated at $3390, but half will be paid by grant funds. The net cost to the city is estimated at $1695.

In other news, Firefighters in Henderson collected over $11,000 during the “Fill the Boot” fundraiser over the Labor Day weekend. Because of their efforts and the generosity of Henderson Citizens, enough money was raised to pay for the necessary clinic visits of eleven children with Muscular Dystrophy, and to send each of them to camp next summer. The HFD has earned the coveted “Brass Bell” award, for the highest earnings in the area.

October 5 is designated “International Walk to School Day,” an event designed to bring attention to the number of child pedestrians hurt and killed on their morning walk to school. With 244 deaths and 13,000 vehicle-related injuries to child pedestrians in 2009, Henderson Safe Kids hopes the event will remind drivers to watch and drive carefully near schools.

The Consent Agenda, passed unanimously and without public comment, included changes in electoral districts drawn around 2010 census data. New electoral districts were approved last night by the Henderson City Council, locking in the new ward borders. Although the proposed wards were posted online and in City Hall, and though a public hearing was held, there was no comment from citizens at any point during the process.

In response to a South Hill, VA woman being attacked in the parking lot of the Henderson Wal-Mart last week, questions were raised about security measures being taken to keep parking areas safe. Police Chief Keith Sidwell stood to explain a free service to residents and businesses of Henderson. With a simple phone call to the department, residents and business owners can have a police officer come to their residence or business and review with them safety and security measures such as lighting, landscaping, and other, high-tech techniques for keeping their homes and business parking areas safer.

Finally, Henrietta C. Clark and Celester Clark have both been honored with Certificates of Appreciation for fifty years and thirty years, respectively, of community service.