Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Terrell City Council

How I spent my birthday:

Last night was the regular meeting of the Terrell City Council. I have been wanting to go for a while, but never could get home from work in time. Yesterday we left work a little early and I was able to make it to the meeting.


Pictured from left to right: Council Member Ricky Jordan, City Manager Torry Edwards (hidden behind a monitor), Mayor Hal Richards, City Attorney Mary Gayle Ramsey, Council Member Jack Jones (not that's not Dick Cheney), and Council Member Tommie Spencer. Not in the picture is Council Member Don Thurman and City Secretary John Rounsavall.


The meeting started at 7pm and was going strong at 9pm when they took a short break and I took my chance to head home. Public comments were heard at the start of the meeting. Two individuals spoke out about our local hospital and the prospects of it closing. There were maybe 10 hospital employees in attendance to show support for the hospital.

On the agenda last night were public hearings on the proposed tax rate for the upcoming year, the Fiscal Year 08-09 budget, water service rates, and a zoning change. I am guessing this would have been the chance for citizens to speak out for or against the items. I am not sure, because nobody spoke up. The Council did mention that the tax rate for the coming year remains the same with the same service (good job City Manager).

After the public hearing requests were taken for funding for groups for the next year. I think most items were tabled, to be sent to the City staff for review.

All in all, it was pretty neat. I learned a little about how our local government works, thought more people would show up and at times was bored to death.

If I could make one suggestion, get some WD-40 for that door. It squeaks a lot.

16 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

I liked the WD40 comment. Your synopsis of the meeting sounds like those here.

Kate said...

Getting involved includes moments of boredom but most of us, myself included, do not take enough interest in our local government. At times, to our peril because we should know what's going on, in order to correct flaws. Hope that you become a force in your city!!

crittoria said...

Kate's right - we should all be more involved. Unfortunately that boredom that you mentioned makes me stay at home....

Knoxville Girl said...

Wow, they look very official and all up there.
I've attended city council meetings, and spoken during public commentary time - it was quite an education, and a good experience. But I wouldn't touch our county commission meetings with a ten foot pole - bunch of monkeys.

Betty Flocken said...

I've only been to one "such meeting" a school council meeting.. I'm with you on the bored to death part! I may try a Buckeye town meeting some time. Thanks for your post

Olivier said...

tu as le droit de prendre des photos dans un tribunal ? en France c'est interdit.

you have the right to take photos in a court? in France is prohibited.

Small City Scenes said...

I too have been to a few meetings like you mention and there sure was a lot of yawning going on.
Regarding the sailing ships: this time I did not go aboard because I had a ferry to catch but I have been aboard before. It is lots of fun. These ships one can actually book a small voyage. I talked to a fellow that did just that and had a great time--full sail and all. I want to do that. (save the pennies first). MB

Marcel said...

I have been to, too many council meetings over the years. I find it hard to sit through them, especially when the assembly is only interested in taking actions that are overwhelmingly opposed by the people. I have watched scores of people get up and speak in opposition to something only to watch the council be swayed the other way by one or two influential people. I find it frustrating when local government or any government doesn’t listen to the people.

I hope you had a good birthday.

Kelly said...

Ah, but it can't always be shouting matches and controversy! Those types of meetings will sure keep you from nodding off, but can be pretty counterproductive in the long run! Regular, everyday, taking-care-of-business Government can be fun too, even if it does get tedious. I am really glad you went, and hope you can go more often! I would be interested in reading your letter to the Mayor about the door... ; )

PJ said...

Glad to see you were able to attend without any problems. Here in Florida we have "The Sunshine Laws" which means that everything about government has to be out in the open. I think it has worked very well even though every now and again someone tries to do business differently. No too long ago some county commissioners tried to circumvent that process and one was sent to prison and another committed suicide in a particularly dreadful way. It was quite shocking to our community but we haven't had any major kerfuffles since then. Still, you wonder....

Boise Diva said...

You make a good reporter, Jim, good citizen perspective - they should publish it in the local paper. When are you running for office?

Michael Gresham said...

Jim,
Welcome to my world. And, it's been about 7 years since I've been to a Terrell meeting, but I'm pretty sure that door squeaked back then as well.

J. Andrew Lockhart said...

what a citizen! :)

Lynette said...

Jim, this is very neat. I am glad that you finally made the meeting. Those were my first thoughts. My next one was, "He could take photos there!" In light of what's been happening at South Shields Daily Photo with Curly, I felt a good deal of surprise that someone didn't ask you to cease and desist. I mean, I know there weren't any children there, but it seems to me that grown up elected officials would be leery of having their photos taken.

Once again, I cannot wait to share your comment today with Mama, and Duncan. It is brilliant.

Rambling Round said...

Ah, everyone should attended a city council meeting at least once!
Good for you!

smilnsigh said...

Ahhhhh... City Council Meetings! And City Councils in general. I know them since one of our sons was in city gov. for 8 years. Both as Comm. of Finance and Mayor.

It's a pretty thankless job. But necessary. Good for you for going to attend a meeting!

Miss Mari-Nanci
Photos-City-Mine