A Jefferson has resident asked the city council for help in slowing speeders on Skyline Dr., saying the problem “is getting pretty ridiculous.”

Kenny Gage, addressing the council on Jan. 25, said high schoolers are driving at dangerous speeds along the road, posing a safety issue for children playing in the area as well as a senior citizen who resides on the street.

“I just think we need to do something more about it,” Gage said. “I don’t really know the answer, but I just don’t want a high school kid to ruin their life by running somebody over trying to make it football practice or soccer practice or whatever.”

Gage said both he and his wife were both nearly struck by vehicles on the road.

Councilman Mark Mobley, who said city police have issued tickets on Skyline Dr., said the road is being used as a cut-through and asked that the council reconsider city policy on speed tables on roadways in an effort to curb the problem.

Other suggestions included placing no-through-traffic signs on Skyline Dr. or making the road a one-way street during school hours to prevent through-traffic.


The city council voted unanimously to appoint its longest-tenured member, Steve Kinney, as mayor pro-team for 2021.

The vote marked a change in the council’s traditional pro-tem selection process. Those duties had previously been assigned on a rotating basis between council members.

Howell, however, requested the change to avoid having mayor pro-tem duties — in the event of an extended absence of a mayor — falling on a first-term councilperson.

The mayor had originally planned for a secret-ballot mayor pro-tem vote, but reconsidered. A secret-ballot vote would appear to be in violation of state law, which requires that votes of public agencies be recorded and public.

“The vote on January 25 will and was always going be held in full public view during the public meeting,” Howell wrote in a Jan. 13 letter to The Jackson Herald. “The balloting process is the the portion that has come into question. Upon reflection, I can see the merits of a transparent verbal vote.”


In other business, the council:

•voted to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with the school system to purchase memorial plaques in honor of long time Jefferson High School teacher and Jack Keen, who passed away in July 2020. The plaques will be displayed on school property. Keen worked at Jefferson High School for 43 years and coached 10 state championship teams between track and wrestling. The plaques will cost $3,000, according to councilman Mark Mobley, who served on a planning committee to honor Keen. Mobley, who was a pole vaulter for Keen, said a celebration of life for Keen is planned for April 25. Mobley said the committee wants to unveil the plaques then.

•approved a request from applicant Alliance Residential for a variance allowing basements for a planned apartment complex on Concord Rd. The zoning only allows for three floors. Basements would constitute an additional floor. Approval of the variance will not alter the 300-unit maximum allowed for this project.

•approved adjustments to the FY2020 and FY2021budgets. None of the changes require use of the city’s reserves.

•appointed city clerk Wendy Wilson as city election superintendent.

•set election qualifying fees for 2021 at $216 for mayor, $75 for councilpersons, $54 for school board chairman and $36 for school board members.

•heard a request from Mobley to consider re-branding the city’s logo. Howell expressed interest in the idea, but wanted to gain citizen input first. He suggested forming a subcommittee to consider the matter.


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