Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday July 31, 2008
2:00 PM

Today was my lucky day again. I attended the annual meeting of the EAPDD in Jonesboro this morning. I have been serving as the president for the past year. One of the agenda items was the election of officers for the coming year. I had (with Richard's help) appointed a committee to present a slate of officers for the coming year. A few minutes after I arrived, one of the committee members asked me if I would serve another year. I told him that I would be willing to serve another year as president.

When we got to that item on the agenda I called on the committee to make present a slate of officers for the coming year. Gerald Morris told the group that the committee had met and that he, for the committee, would suggest that the same officers serve for the coming year. Shortly a motion from the floor was that the nominations stop and the group presented be elected by acclamation. Needless to say all of the mayor's and judge's present agreed. I do not mind taking on this office. There is very little to do, and when we meet we always have an excellent meal. Today we had steak and all of the trimmings from Mel's in Harrisburg. The meal was excellent.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday July 29, 2008
1:00 PM

When I came to work yesterday morning Theda told me that we had a funeral set for Wed. A family member had been in on Friday to make arrangements for a burial plot. Theda had found a plot that suited the family member.

During the day yesterday Theda had prepared a map for me to mark the grave. I went to the cemetery and located the spot. There was a small problem. A person had already been buried in the plot. I came back to city hall and told Theda of the problem. That was about 4:45 Pm. I told her that we would find another spot in the morning. (I said we---I meant that Theda would find a spot.)

This morning Theda located another burial spot and drew me a map. I went to the cemetery and there was a plot in the location, but the graves around it were not as our maps indicated. I returned to city hall and ask Theda to find another location because of potential problems with her latest map. After my explanation to her, she agreed and she found another single burial plot in the general area and prepared a map.

It worked well on the third try. There were no problems and I marked the grave for the service tomorrow. A few weeks ago we had sold a plot next to the one I marked this morning and we knew that in this location everything will be OK.

Just another day in the life of a cemetery manager!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday July 28, 2008
1o:52 AM

I took off work on Friday. I visited mother in Iuka. I did not tell her that I was going to see her until I arrived. I called her from the carport once I arrived.

It was good to visit with her. She seemed to be doing very well. She even had the AC on and when I got there she told me to lower the setting. While I was there Aunt Ginny stopped by for a visit and to pickup mother's grocery list. Mother offered to fix me some lunch, but the only thing that she had to make a sandwich was tomato. I told her that I would stop on my way home and get some lunch.

Amy called early Saturday morning. She was at work and the news she had was that she had received the results of her Arkansas test. She passed. That was very good news. I am proud of her and the work she does. She really enjoys the work and the business she works for. I am happy that she enjoys her work and the business where she is able to work.

I mowed the yard early Saturday morning and then went to the coffee shop for some instructions on how to better carry out my job as mayor. Senator Luker was there and he told me that he was glad to see me to answer the questions that he could not answer. We had some lively discussions around the coffee table. I enjoy going to the coffee shop and discussing the problems of the city, state, nation and the world with the coffee shop crowd.

We got a little rain yesterday in Wynne. At home my gage had 7/10 of an inch in it after the rain. Every little bit helps. I was talking to some citizens this morning and they said the the rain was not a general rain, it varied quite a bit and some sections of the city received very little rain.

Last night at church two friends of mine were giving me a hard time about the recent changes in our garbage collection. Then one of them told me that one of her children lives in Conway and that the city of Conway does not pick up class three and four trash. She told me that in the past that when they visited their child they brought back to Wynne the trash from their child's home and placed it on the street for the city of Wynne to dispose of along with the residents of Wynne.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday July 24, 2008
3:15 PM

I attended a very interesting solid waste board meeting this morning. I got to serve as chairman. The chairman, the vice chairman, and the secretary were not in attendance. I told the staff that I was willing to serve as the chairman for the meeting. The lawyer said that the members present (there was a quorum) would have to elect me the chairman for today's meeting.

I informed the group what had to happen and told them that I would serve as the chairman, but there had to be a vote. Almost before I was finished with the situation several members moved to elect me the chairman for the day. I won in a landslide.

The board first heard from Judge Holt about the landfill contract. He said that nothing had been resolved, but that he was willing to enter into a contract with the board with the ending time to match the landfill in Phillips county. The board has been granting extensions for a number of years. It was good to have the issue settled. (our garbage goes to this landfill)

The next item of business was the recycling grants for this year. We received request for more money than we have been given for this year. This has always been the case. After much discussion the board reached an agreement to disperse the money. This is always the way these grants are handled.

The last item we discussed was waste tire disposal. We spent well over an hour discussing this item. In the end, I think that we reached a solution that pleased the members of the board.

We then went to Kelley's for a delicious meal and some good interaction.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday July 22, 2008
10:00 AM

Yesterday was the first day that the city did not pick up class three and four trash. There were a few residents that went to the city shop to dispose of trash. They were told that the city no longer picks up or accepts the trash at the city shop.

The code enforcement officer was busy yesterday going around the city making a list of the citizens who are in violation of the ordinance relating to trash on the street. The plan is to issue a warning and give the citizens ten days to remove their trash. If no action is taken by the property owner a ticket will be issued after the ten days have passed and they will have to go court.

The damage on north Killough has not been repaired. The citizen told me that her insurance company will pay for the damage. The company has taken bids and authorized the work to proceed, but the contractor who got the job was on vacation last week. The citizen told me that the work would be done this week. I went on the street this morning about 8:00 AM and the work had not been started.

The street department is completing the patching in preparation for the chip and seal work to be completed this summer. The contractor plans to do the work next week.

Pat and I went to Amy's on Saturday. We had a good visit. The first thing that we did was as usual was eat. We ate at a Mexican cafe then went to the mall and then to a bookstore.

I will be attending the Woodruff Electric annual meeting tonight in Forrest City. The meeting will last only a few minutes and then the employees and spouces will be treated to dinner.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday July 18, 2008
11:00 AM

I had a very busy day yesterday. I had four meeting to attend as well as deal with a number of issues that a part of almost every day.

I had a staff meeting yesterday morning. The main concern is that the city has to revise our health and safety plan. We have a problem because we had two workers comp. claims last year. I gave the department heads two weeks to submit their information to me so that I can revise the plan. I will submit the new plan and it will should be accepted. If it is we will implement the plan and in six months the workers comp. will visit the city and check to make sure that the plan has been implemented.

The second meeting I attented was the chamber of commerce board meeting. This month the meeting was held in Parkin. We met at the the state park. The facilities were ok and the food, prepared by the mayor an Joann ,was excellent. It was very warm because we only had celing fans and the meeting was at high noon.

The third meeting I attended was the board for CCEDC. The meeting was routine. It only lasted a few minutes. We did approve the guidelines to spend the money to prospectibe businesses.

The last meeting I attended was a public forum for the citizens to hear the explaination for the need for new water and sewer rates in Wynne. The turnout was very low. I only counted fifty people at the meeting. Included in that number were the five water commissioners, six of the council members, three policemen, four people who made the presentation. The bottom line is that the rates have to be increased. If the city council does not increase the rates the lender will go to court and a judge will take over the operation of the water and sewer for the city. The judge will hire someone to manage the system and the judge will increase the rates to make sure that enough money is taken in to meet the needs of the system, including the repayment of the loans.

Yesterday Amy called me as she was passing through Wynne. She had been to Heber Springs to pick up a body for a service at CMP at 3:00pm yesterday. She had to stop in Wynne to get gas for the coach. She was in good spirits and it was good to visit with her a few minutes on the phone as she was passing through.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wednesday July 9, 2008
10:00 AM

The Wynne City Council met last night. We had a short agenda but make a major change in our sanitation department. The city will end the pick up of all class four trash effective July 18. The change was necessary because of the money that is available for the services that are now provided. The choice for the city council was stop the class four pickup or raise the sanitation fees about $6.00 per month and increase the commercial fees about 15 to 20 percent. The council felt that they could not increase the fees that amount. They chose to stop the service. I have spent a lot of time the last ten days trying to come up with a soultion. In the end I told the committee and the council that I recommended that the service be stoped. That is the decision that the council voted to do last night.

We will have some complaints about this, but I think that the citizens will adjust to this in a few weeks. I also think that they will appreciate the job the sanitation department has been providing for them for several years.

When we prepare the budget I will look at the resumption of this service. If I think that we can provide some type of service at a reasonable cost I will try to resume the service, or at least a scaled down version of the service.

Being Mayor is a blast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Monday July 7, 2008

The city council will meet tomorrow night. There are only two items on the agenda. VDCI will report on the mosquito program for the last month. The other item is an ordinance to increase the water and sewer rates for the customers in Wynne.

The commission has held two meetings with the council invited to explain the need for an increase. There has been a good turnout of council members at both meetings. When the last meeting was held a proposal was accepted by the commission and the members of the city council that they both think will meet the needs of the utility. If the council does not adjust the rates, the bond company can impose a rate increase on the customers. The city council and the commission do not want that to happen.

The plan is to read the ordinance tomorrow night and then have a public meeting for all of the citizens of Wynne to hear an explanation of the needed rates later in the month. During the August meeting of the council the plan is to read it two more time and adopt the ordinance along with an emergency clause. The utility needs to start collecting the higher rates in October and they need a few days to adjust the program to implement the new rates.

Work has been progressing well on the ditch in ward three. The contractor has piled most of the trees in piles and the city crews are burning the piles today. When all of the trees are burned the contractor will clean out and shape the ditch.

The solid waste committee of the city council will meet tomorrow night before the city council meets. The sanitation department has to have some more money or some of the services that are now provided will have to be changed. I have been working for several days on an analysis of the situtation. I will present it to the committee tomorrow night and ask them for their suggestions. I hope that they will take some kind of action. If they do not I will be forced to make some kind of cuts that will allow the sanitation department to stay within the budget that has been adopted. The major problem areas at this time are the fuel cost and the cost of disposal of class three and class four. I do not look forward the the choices. It seems that all are bad.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

July 2, 2008
1:20 PM

The new dog pound is almost complete. We need to seal the floor, but that will not be possible for about two months. I have ordered the material from Caldwell Lumber. We are going to put up a few feet of chain link fence from the cornors of the dog pound. This will be another safety feature to keep the dogs if they decided to run when the officer opens the door to the pen. We also need three covers for the drains. They have been ordered and should be here in a few days.
We are going to pour a small amount of concrete around the water outlets. The animal control officer requested this and is will also keep the mud to a mininum around the pens. The animal control officer is pleased with the new pound and he said that my design is working out just fine. I never though that I would be in the business of designing dog pounds.

Killough road is now fully open and all of the work has been completed. All of the signs have been removed. It is very nice to travel this section of street. I feel sure that the citizens of Wynne appreciate this much needed improvment of a major street.

I took Pat to the heart doctor in Germantown yesterday. She had an excellent check-up. The doctor said no heart problems or lung problems.

We stopped in West Memphis and had a quick lunch with Amy. They have been very busy the last few days. She told us that they had six on the board. In fact when left for lunch Kent told her to be back for a service that started a 2:00PM. She talked to Pat later in the day and said that they now had two more on the board. The funeral business seems to be feast or famine.

I was notified today that I have been appointed to the Executive Committee for the Municipal League. I was glad to get the appointment. I have enjoyed my service on the committee. It takes some of my time, but I enjoy working on the business of the cities of Arkansas through the municipal league.

I am looking forward to having a three day weekend. Friday is the 4th and the city will be shut down except for fire and police. They never shut down.