City Council special meeting, Nov. 7, 2012

The Special-Called Council meeting followed a 5 p.m. meeting of the Finance Committee, which voted to move forward for a full Council vote on a bond “wrap” deal of $16 million to fund a new Park and Recreation building.

The meeting was called to order at 7:30 p.m.

Councilmembers present:  Michael Hallman, Britt Thames (Ward 1); Fred Hawkins, Vance Moody (Ward 2); Patrick McClusky, Walter Jones (Ward 3); Jenifer Champ-Wallis, Heather Reid (Ward 4); Rich Laws, Peter Wright (Ward 5); and council president Bruce Limbaugh.

Staff present: City attorney Mike Kendrick, city clerk Linda Cook, mayor’s chief of staff J. J. Bischoff, and mayor Scott McBrayer.

Audience attendance: Approximately 20, including three reporters.

The agenda item for consideration was the Old Business agenda item 23.10.12 to adopt the reimbursement resolution to issue general obligation warrants not to exceed $17 million to build a proposed new recreation center;  to name Merchant Capital LLC and Protective Securities as underwriters, with Waldrep, Stewart & Kendrick (city attorney’s firm) as bond counsel, and to use the warrant proceeds to reimburse the city for related expenses already paid out.

Denied: A request for “unanimous consent” to vote on the financial package tonight–the same night on which it was introduced. This rule requiring unanimous consent to consider a matter on the first reading is meant to keep ordinances from being hurried through the approval process.

Council president Bruce Limbaugh asked for the vote, but newly elected Ward 1 councilman Michael Hallman voted no.  Hallman’s vote, being first, closed down the vote, prompting councilman Walter Jones to move to adjourn, which he withdrew at the mayor’s request to call a second meeting for Nov. 8.

Postponed: The meeting to consider the financial package recommended by the mayor and approved by the finance committee will be held on Nov. 8.

(New councilwoman Jenifer Champ Wallis had asked for more time to think about the matter, and made a motion for construction expenses to go ahead and be paid — removing claims that a delayed vote would prolong the construction process over two summers instead of one.  The adjournment, however, shut out Wallis’s resolution for tonight’s meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.

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