Carl is in talks to begin paying the mayor and council members only if they show up for monthly and called meetings.
As it stands now, they are paid regardless. Mayor David Brock raised the point at the town’s meeting Thursday night, but did not say if it was due to any certain members missing repeated meetings.
Council member Rebecca Knight immediately made her stance known as against the motion.
“I object to it,” she said. “I get phone calls in my office all the time because people can’t get in here and people’s got questions about what’s going on in this city.”
Brock said that he also receives calls during the day and does work other times than solely at council meetings.
“I realize that it’s a small town,” Brock said. “People know who we are – hopefully they do. They can come to us night and day; that’s why this personal phone – personal cell phone number’s on (the town’s business card) so people can call me (and) can reach me 24/7. It just kind of comes along with the job in my opinion.”
Knight conceded that if it comes along with the job, council members should be paid for it.
Brock called that a good point, and said that if Carl were a bigger city with a bigger budget, things might be different.
“We’re in tight times and we’re in frugal times,” Brock said. “I want to be able to say I’ve truthfully and earnestly chased every dollar of savings this city could have.”
Each council member voted in favor of the motion except Knight. Before it becomes official, Town Attorney Wayne Maynard will review legislation making sure a governing body can cut their own pay effective immediately. A decision will be made at the town’s May meeting.
Privatize Carl Library?
Brock said that the town is being “killed” by Piedmont Regional Library rates forcing the town to consider its options with the library located inside City Hall.
If the town privatized the library, the town itself would stock the library and Brock said that it could save money.
“For less than half of the annual maintenance contract with Piedmont, I could probably staff that or stock that library,” Brock said. “It probably wouldn’t have the most up to current stuff, but it wouldn’t be deficient by any means.”
Brock went on to say that if the library were bigger and had more activity, it may be worth staying with Piedmont, however, that’s not the case.
“We could have our own library and own the stuff,” he said. “I think that may be a direction we need to think about going because of the cost incurred with this maintenance plan, and I don’t see the demand or justification (at Carl’s library).”
There is a $2,000 a year library grant that the town could apply for next February.
During the next month, Brock said that he would meet with Piedmont representatives to see if they have any program that could help small town libraries.
No action was required.
In other business at the Carl Town Council meeting Thursday night:
•a motion to place a $50 deposit for use of the town’s gazebo for functions by non-Carl residents was approved. The town hopes the deposit will help prevent users from leaving the gazebo disorderly.
•the council approved placing $200,000 of its Georgia Fund in The Peoples Bank and placing the rest in a money market account at First American Bank and Trust Company.
•the town adopted Barrow County’s Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation plan. Local governments that complete this plan, as Barrow County did, remain eligible for federal funding in the event of a hazard. By adopting the resolution, Carl will be eligible for the funds.
•the town decided to stay with New South Landscapes for lawn care of the Carl Park. The town received bids from five different companies, but will remain with New South at the same rate as last year.
•after considering planting new shrubs in the town park, the council decided to table the planting until the fall. Planters told the mayor that the town should have started discussing the planting in February so it would have been ready to implement the plan in March. The delay would have the trees planted too close to a potential draught season, which could kill the trees. The town will revisit the option in the fall.
•the contract with Waste Pro was again tabled due to contractual issues. The town plans to approve or deny the contract at its May meeting, however, residents will experience no interruption in services between now and then.
•the town council will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. on May 20 at City Hall for a variance application by Doc McGee’s for overflow parking. All parking in Carl is required to be curbed and asphalted, so in order to have a gravel lot - as Doc McGee’s is requesting – the town must decide to allow it. Following the public hearing will be Carl’s regularly scheduled town council meeting at 7:30 p.m.