Council members installed
Posted by : November 23, 2013| On :
By David Webb
The Monitor Correspondent
PAYNE SPRINGS–The Payne Springs City Council installed two new members at its Tuesday meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Michael McDonald stepped down from the council, and new members Ron Spahlinger and Ethel Hagin took the oath of office along with returning incumbent Linda Carr. Then the council appointed Carr as mayor pro tem.
Mayor Rodney Renberg presented McDonald with a plaque of appreciation and praise for his many years of service on the council.
Before the new members took their seats, the council took up several items of existing business. The council rejected a motion by McDonald to move the seating of the new members up on the agenda after an objection by Carr. “I feel we have some issues this council needs to address before we seat the new council,” Carr said.
Immediately after police Sgt. Matt Edmonds presented his police report, Carr asked for an item regarding police issues on the agenda addressed by the council in executive session. The council retired to closed session for about 35 minutes, but it took no action when it returned. Closed sessions generally involve personnel or legal issues.
Several residents attending the meeting who live in the area of FM 316 and CR 2851, CR 2854 and CR 2852 asked to be disannexed from the city because they complained the city had failed to properly maintain their roads.
McDonald said the disannexation did not make sense because the area is within the geography of the city. Council members promised the city would soon make repairs to the roads, and it tabled the agenda item for later review.
A request for a business permit to open a scrap metal business to be known as Just Scrap It led to a divided council vote. McDonald said he supported the plan for the Malakoff business owner to expand to Payne Springs because it would be 90 percent contained in an inside environment and not an eyesore. Carr objected to it, saying she didn’t want Payne Springs to become known as a center for scrap metal businesses. Council member Michael Juica sided with Carr while council member Nathan Gilbreath voted with McDonald.
Renberg broke the tie by voting for the business permit’s award. “This man is running a clean business, and I can’t turn him away,” he said. “I vote for it.”
Don Kinney presented his 2012 audit to the council, saying the city appeared to be in “reasonably good shape financially.” He noted the impound lot made about $30,000 profit. “I have not seen too many impound lots that make money,” Kinney said.
Council members noted that the land for the impound lot is leased to the city for only $268 per year, which is the amount of the property taxes on it.