Wednesday, January 9, 2019

New Dyersburg board sworn in at Monday meeting - State Gazette

During Monday’s Dyersburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, the newly elected board members were officially sworn in to office. Seven of the eight board members are new to the board. Pictured left to right are members of the new Dyersburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen: James Baltimore, Meghan Gilbert, Mary Claire Hopper, Dyersburg Mayor John Holden, Dennis Moody (the only returning board member), Willie Cole, Ricky Hammond, Vanedda Webb, and Edward Burks.

State Gazette photos/ Brandon Hutcheson



On Monday, Jan. 7, the Dyersburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen convened for their first meeting of 2019. The meeting also marked the official swearing in of the recently elected board members, including 7 new individuals on the 8-person board consisting of James Baltimore, Edward Burks, Willie Cole, Meghan Gilbert, Ricky Hammond, Mary Claire Hopper, and Vanedda Webb. Alderman Dennis Moody was the only returning member to the board.

The meeting officially began at 7 p.m. inside the Municipal Building Courtroom with the previous board presiding. Five of the eight members were present with Kevin Chaney, Mike Morgan, and Robert Taylor Jr. not in attendance. Following approval of the most recent meeting’s minutes (Dec. 3, 2018), the board turned to new business led by the attorney invoice from November 2018.

Dyersburg Mayor John Holden presented the invoice in the amount of $4,481.25. Referring to the invoice, Alderman Bob Kirk asked of the status of an item pertaining to the potential sale of the McDowell Center.

“I know there is further discussion about that,” said Kirk. “Has anything been done about that?”

Mayor Holden responded saying that the item noting the discussion of the possible sale occurred on Veterans Day in November 2018.

“We met with Mr. Woods who expressed they have a deep interest in purchasing the facility,” said the mayor. “I asked him to get me a letter and a contract [but] I have heard nothing since then.”

Kirk asked if there had been an appraisal on the building, to which Mayor Holden noted the city has conducted 2 appraisals over the previous 4-5 years and stated he felt that the city wouldn’t conduct another appraisal until the interested party is more serious about the sale.

A motion to accept the invoice was made by Kirk with a second from Alderman Bill Escue. The motion passed.

A notice of public hearing was presented for Tuesday, Jan. 22 during the next convening of the board. The hearing scheduled is that of an ordinance amending the Dyersburg Municipal Zoning map by rezoning property located near 427 Fairbanks Road (Clarence Carthen property) from M-2 (medium industrial) district to B-2 (general trade and services) district.

Alderman Moody motioned to accept the public hearing with a second from Alderman Terry Glover. The motion passed.

Coinciding with the Dyersburg City Charter under Section 5, ‘Changing City Administration’, the board turned to the next item of business, a resolution authorizing of Mayor’s Tender of Municipal Trusts and Property to Newly Elected Board.

Reading from the resolution, Mayor Holden stated, “Whereas, said charter requires the formal tender of the City’s Trusts and Property to the newly elected Board of Mayor and Aldermen by the outgoing board at the first meeting of the said new Board.”

Glover motioned to authorize Mayor Holden to tender all right, power and authority in and to the City’s Trusts and Property to the Dyersburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen elected during November’s election. The motion was seconded by Kirk and passed.

Communications from the retiring board

Bob Kirk:

Kirk asked the current status of the City of Dyersburg audit.

City Treasurer Steve Anderson mentioned a draft copy of the Dyersburg City School System’s audit had been received.

“The draft copy should be the final copy unless they have changes in their review,” said Anderson. “It’s enough for me to get the information I need to write our audit, but I’m still waiting on information from our auditors to finish up on it.”

Kirk said he thought the audit should have been completed by Dec. 1. (The Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved Cowart Reese Sargent to replace Alexander Thompson Arnold during the June 4, 2018 meeting with a 5-4 vote in favor of the change. Kirk mentioned he was told by Joe Enoch of the firm the audit would be completed by Dec. 1, 2018. (Read State Gazette story at the following link: https://www.stategazette.com/story/2528903.html).

“Is there some reason they couldn’t get it in on time?” asked Kirk.

“The Pension Plan is one of the big things,” responded Anderson. “I think they maybe underestimated what it was going to take to do this audit. The Pension Plan, as far as I know, is the major holdup for them.”

Anderson added the firm has asked for a one-month extension, which would allow the firm to have it completed by Jan. 31.

Kirk, who did not seek re-election and is stepping down from his alderman seat after 51 years of service, then expressed his appreciation to those in attendance at the meeting. He thanked his family and friends for allowing him to serve the community for 51 years.

“I encourage you new members to vote with confidence, conviction, independence, common sense, and integrity,” said Kirk. “These principals will serve you and this community well.”

He encouraged new members to ask questions and never fail to recognize the many city employees with wages, benefits, and a pat on the back.

Quoting the Jaycees, Kirk said, “Service to humanity is the best work of life. You [new board members] have found a wonderful way to serve humanity by being on this board.”

Upon completion of his final address as an alderman, Kirk received a standing ovation from those present.

Bill Escue:

Escue, who did not seek re-election, mentioned it was an honor to serve the citizens of Dyersburg. He added he enjoyed working with all of the department heads, and that his time as an alderman has been a great learning experience. He also congratulated the new board members. Escue also congratulated Kirk for his service.

Terry Glover:

Glover, who also did not run for re-election, stated he has been blessed to work with the fellow board members over the years.

“When I look at the crowd here and look at who’s up here, I see former students,” said Glover. “It’s great that I got to know what was happening. My purpose originally was to pay back to Dyersburg for what they’ve given me and my family. I have totally been blessed. Thank you for the opportunity.”

He also encouraged the new members to get to know the city’s department heads.

Kevin Chaney: Not present

Mike Morgan: Not present

Scott Staggs:

Staggs, who was appointed in January 2018 following the resignation of Carolyn Norman, mentioned he felt a calling to serve his city.

“I love this city with all of my heart,” said Staggs. “I’ve loved getting to know these guys, and I piggyback off of what they said about meeting the department heads. I know with the people coming in, we have a lot of fine people to represent this city.”

Robert Taylor Jr.: Not present

Dyersburg City Judge Dean Dedmon (far left) administered the Oath of Office to all members of the new board as well as the mayor (pictured below).

Newly elected board members

James Baltimore

With communications completed, the old board members left the platform. Mayor Holden then asked the new aldermen and alderwomen to step forward as he presented their Certificates of Election. City of Dyersburg Judge Dean Dedmon then administered the oath of office to each incoming board member, many of which were flanked by their families and loved ones.

Edward Burks

Mayor Holden then took his oath of office with his children by his side.

Willie Cole

Continuing with new business on the agenda was the Mayor’s Tender of City’s Trusts and Property to the newly elected board of Mayor and Aldermen, which also is derived from section 5 of the city’s charter.

Meghan Gilbert

A motion to approve the resolution was made by Alderman Dennis Moody and seconded by Alderman James Baltimore. The motion passed.

Ricky Hammond

Mayor Holden then presented the appointment of corporate officers, as detailed under Chapter 6 of the city charter, recommending Steve Anderson as treasurer for his fourth term and Bob Jones as recorder for his third term. The charter states that individuals holding the two positions shall not be members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Mary Claire Hopper

A motion to reappoint Anderson and Jones was made by Mayor Holden with a second from Alderman Willie Cole. The motion passed.

Dennis Moody

Adoptions of banking resolutions from First Citizens National Bank, Security Bank, and Simmons Bank were then presented.

Vanedda Webb

“According to the city charter, these are the trusts that have been conveyed to us – this new board,” said the mayor.

Mayor John Holden

A motion to approve the banking resolutions was made by Alderman Ricky Hammond with a second from Alderman Baltimore. The motion passed unanimously.

In the final new business agenda item, Mayor Holden presented a letter from Dyersburg Electric System President and CEO Stephen Lane requesting Alderman Moody be reappointed to the Dyersburg Electric Power Board for 4 years, coinciding with his duly elected alderman seat.

A motion to approve Moody to his fourth term to the Dyersburg Electric System Power Board was made by Alderman Baltimore with a second from Alderwoman Vanedda Webb. The motion passed.

Report from Aldermen

James Baltimore:

Alderman Baltimore thanked everyone for attending the meeting. He commended Alderman Kirk as well as the citizens of Dyersburg for their votes. Baltimore commended Scott Staggs for the campaign he ran. He also recognized and thanked his wife for her support.

Edward Burks:

Alderman Burks thanked the previous board for their hard work as well as Kirk. He mentioned he is a lifelong resident of Dyersburg and loves the city. He also thanked everyone for voting for him.

Willie Cole:

Alderman Cole stated it is an honor and a pleasure to serve as an alderman. He thanked the community and his church members. Cole mentioned he is here to serve and will work wherever he is asked to work.

Meghan Gilbert:

Alderwoman Gilbert said she was grateful for the opportunity and noted it will be a learning experience for her. She added she will work hard, ask questions, and do the very best she can. She also commended her husband for his support.

Ricky Hammond:

Alderman Hammond stated it is an honor to serve. He also commended Glover, Kirk, and the previous board. Hammond said he is looking forward in helping try to move the city forward.

Mary Claire Hopper:

Alderwoman Hopper thanked her family, friends, and the people of Ward 5 for voting and showing support. She also noted it will be a learning experience and thanked the previous board for their service.

Dennis Moody:

Alderman Moody, the only re-elected and returning board member, thanked his supporters throughout the years. He noted he has enjoyed his service with the previous boards he has served with, and he also recognized Kirk for his service. Moody mentioned he believes Dyersburg will ‘come out way ahead’ with the new board.

Vanedda Webb:

Alderwoman Webb stated she is grateful for the opportunity to serve. She mentioned she hopes to serve the voters well. Webb thanked her family for allowing her to serve and she looks forward to her service.

Prior to adjournment, Mayor Holden thanked the previous board members. He thanked Kirk for his many years of service. Mayor Holden also thanked his children for their continued support, love, and commitment. He added all of the city’s department heads were present and added, “We have a wonderful group of people we work with. They do a great job for the city and have a lot of experience.” He added he looks forward to serving with the new board. With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.


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