The Pendergrass City Council axed its practice of allowing citizens to ask questions or make comments at its meeting Tuesday night.
Following a brief meeting at which the council voted to mortgage city hall to raise cash for the city government, Pendergrass Mayor Monk Tolbert abruptly adjourned the meeting without allowing the usual comment period for citizens.
One Pendergrass resident asked Tolbert, “Why can we not speak during the city council meetings anymore? You don’t want to answer our questions?”
The mayor said anyone could come talk to him or other city officials individually.
“Are you worried about a reporter being here?” the woman asked.
City attorney Walter Harvey said, “Lady, this is not a political forum, this is a government meeting.”
Two policemen went and stood next to the woman during the brief exchange.
Saying the city was facing financial difficulties due to the economy, Mayor Tolbert got a unanimous vote for the city to borrow an unspecified amount of money.
The council approved a resolution to use the city hall/library complex as collateral and finance or refinance a loan against.
“We don’t have a specific amount,” Tolbert said after the meeting. “We just have appointments with the bank at this time.” Tolbert said he has contacted Community Bank and Trust and Hometown Community Bank about a loan.
For the complete update on issues confronting the City of Pendergrass, see the Sept. 30 issue of The Jackson Herald.