Private Use of Public Vehicle No Major Issue at Council Meeting

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What didn’t happen proved a bigger story than what actually did take place during Monday’s meeting of the Salyersville City Council.
Pre-meeting chatter had suggested a pending showdown between the council and the public with the mayor serving as the main target.
However, a charge of private use of a public vehicle didn’t create quite the stir as expected and a standing room crowd went home without witnessing any major war of words.

 
What didn’t happen proved a bigger story than what actually did take place during Monday’s meeting of the Salyersville City Council.
Pre-meeting chatter had suggested a pending showdown between the council and the public with the mayor serving as the main target.
However, a charge of private use of a public vehicle didn’t create quite the stir as expected and a standing room crowd went home without witnessing any major war of words.Councilman Jeff Ross did bring the subject up, saying a city truck was used for private transportation on August 20 when the vehicle was driven to a Cave Run Lake cabin owned by mayor Stanley Howard.
Mayor Howard said he saw nothing wrong with the usage, producing a response from the audience as a male voice sent the mayor’s words back at him in the form of a question.
The discussion, though, died after city clerk, and the mayor’s wife, Karen Howard explained that the vehicle was under the control of the city’s water commission, that the mayor was not the driver of the vehicle on August 20, and that the issue had been resolved through the commission.
“I don’t see any reason to question the mayor when he wasn’t even driving the truck,” Karen Howard said.
Ross did not further question the situation and quietly left the building following a vote to adjourn.
Prior to that, Ross asked about the purchase of police vests. The city has been awarded a grant to fund the purchase, which Chief Matthew Watson said would be made following final state approval.
The council also discussed the water main replacement project, which is currently underway. A progress meeting, according to Kevin Howard of Summit Engineering, will be held at city hall September 29 at 3 p.m.
Councilman Tom Bailey questioned the progress toward securing a cleaner water source and potential testing of the current supply.
“If we’re going to have new water lines we should have better water to put through them,” Bailey said.
The issue created some discussion but little solution, but the mayor did ask Howard’s help in the testing process.
In other business, the council asked attorney Jeff Lovely to draft an ordinance regarding handicap parking.
The city, with councilman Charles Basham spearheading the issue, is looking to designate and mark handicap parking spaces that will call for a $50 fine per violation.
During the half hour regular gathering, the council approved a second budget ordinance reading and a second reading of a property tax rate ordinance.
Mayor Howard also mentioned the approval of $220,000 to go toward the construction of new sidewalks. Work on that project is expected to begin next spring.