Friday, November 25, 2016

TOP STORY >> Officials in Cabot can sell to city

Leader staff writer

The Cabot City Council on Monday passed several ordinances, including one allowing two city officials to do business with the city.

The council adopted an ordinance allowing Alderman Rick Prentice to do business with the city after its third reading. Prentice abstained from voting. Alderman Kevin Davis was absent.

Prentice is a risk-safety manager for Summit Truck Group and Summit Bus Company. The company sells new and used trucks and buses, parts and service.

Prentice wanted people to know he works for a company that does business with the city. He does not sell parts or service.

The council also adopted an ordinance on its third reading allowing Director of Operations Eddie Cook to do business with the city.

Cook and his father are co-owners of Cook Screen Printing. Cook is a full-time city employee.

Previously, Cook said the ordinances show transparency and the city is following procurement policies. It states exactly what services the employee or city official can provide.

Alderman Ron Waymack opposed both ordinances and Alderman Ann Gilliam did not vote.

“I don’t think city employees should do business with the city,” Waymack told The Leader after the meeting.

He said they should decide if they want to be a contractor or work for the city.

Waymack referred to state law 14-42-107: Interest in offices or contracts prohibited.

The statute reads, “No alderman, council member, official or municipal employees shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in the profits of any contract for furnishing supplies, equipment or services to the municipality unless the governing body of the city has enacted an ordinance specifically permitting aldermen, council members, official or municipal employees to conduct business with the city and prescribing the extent of this authority.”

The prohibition does not apply to city officials or employees who do not hold any corporate executive or managing office.

In other businesses:

The council adopted an ordinance on its third reading to rezone 19.2 acres of property at the northwest intersection of Hwy. 38 and Hwy. 367 South from R-1 residential to C-2 commercial.

The council voted to accept the annexation of Class A Tooling’s two lots. The parcels are off Gateway Drive near Hwy. 5.

Aldermen voted on adding commercial building design standards to the city’s unified development code on the ordinance’s first reading.

The council adopted an ordinance on its third reading prohibiting driving and parking vehicles on bike lanes. Golf carts are allowed on bicycle lanes to and from golf courses.

Aldermen amended an ordinance with an emergency clause allowing the parks department to utilize the $200,000 balance of a $400,000 promissory note issued to Regions Bank for 1.82-percent interest. The funds will be used to buy exercise equipment for the Veterans Park Community Center expansion that will open in January. The ordinance was passed in February.

The council passed an ordinance placing tax liens on properties in the city to recover funds spent on services due to code violations. The ordinance passed on its first reading with the second and third readings waved. Property owners have 30 days to make an appeal.

Properties with liens are: 36 Parkview Drive, 1010 South Hills Drive, 1457 Mountain Springs Road, 62 St. John St., 64 St. John St., 32 Wolverine Drive, 305 Campground Road, 20 Tahoe Court, 40 Timberwood Drive, 14 Park Circle, 12 Mallard Cove, 12 Burns Drive, 14 Buttercup Lane, 309-B S. Pine St., 11 Statesboro Cove, 13 Cains Cove, 90 Earnhardt Circle and 45 Woodbridge Drive.

City attorney Jimmy Taylor told the council the ordinance was a prime example of the city violation of the state constitution.

“The city is lending its credit to citizens,” Taylor said.

“Every city in the state of Arkansas is in violation, because everybody does it,” Alderman Eddie Long said.