Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Special Report: Nathan Johnson New Cherokee Municipal Judge

Cherokee City Council Meeting

Special Report By

C. R.

The Cherokee City Council held a meeting this morning. The citizens were given only twenty four hours notice that a city council meeting was going to be held at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. The council thought this would keep turn out for the meeting low but they were wrong. The city council meeting was packed. ( Thanks to people like SS )

The temp outside was cool but the temp inside of the city council meeting was boiling. During the meeting one citizen yelled out to the council “all of you are damn stupid”. This remark brought cheers from the packed crowd. One citizen told the council several times during the meeting to resign.

It was rumored that the city council has been meeting in secret and it showed during the meeting. Mayor Lansdell even pointed it out by saying “go ahead and do it y'all have already made your decision before this meeting”. At one point during the meeting Steve Glover was asked a question and Glover would not answer. The mayor stated “what is wrong Steve did you not rehearse that question at your secret meeting”. Steve Glover looked at Mignon Willis and the Mayor told Steve “stop looking at her and look at me”.

The leader of the city council Steve Glover would make a motion and Councilwomen Mason or Councilman Joe Franks would second the motion and the Burger King Four Glover, Malone, Franks, and Mason would vote lock step with each other to pass the motion.

The city council moved quick to imply that the mayor’s hiring of Marsha Allen was illegal. The council fired Marsha Allen as the part time city clerk and made a motion to not pay her the money she was owed by the town for working. Steve Glover made the motion and voted on the motion. This could be an ethics violation because the matter was involving his mother-in-law.

Steve Glover made a motion to hire his mother-in-law Becky Watkins. City Attorney Becky Narmore advised Steve that was an ethics violation and Councilman Malone made the motion and the motion was passed by the Burger King Four. Steve Glover made a motion to set the pay of his mother-in-law and also voted on the motion. This is also a possible ethics violation.

The Burger King Four fired City Attorney Becky Narmore. After being fired she stated: I only did this because I was raised here and I was asked by several people living here not to quit over the years. I stayed here for them and now I am glad to be done with all of this. Later on Narmore added since I am no longer employed by the City of Cherokee I would be glad to be Marsha Allen’s attorney and Chuck Lansdell's adviser and I will do it for free.

Steve Glover also made a motion to remove Mayor Lansdell from the list of people authorized to sign the city's checks. When Glover made the motion Mayor Lansdell demanded Glover give him a reason for this action. After about 15 minutes Glover could never give a reason. The motion died. It takes two signatures to sign a check.

Nathan Johnson was hired as the new city judge and Dan Rosson was hired as the new city attorney. The one bright spot was when all city councilpersons and mayor voted to replace some of the city’s park equipment. All parties also agreed to have an expert come and look at the sewers pumps. The two motions were made by Mike Malone.

As the meeting was ending Mayor Lansdell signed a city check to pay Marsha Allen for the hours she had worked. Councilwomen Lambert signed the check also. Lambert told Glover, "If you do not like it sue me."

After the meeting City Clerk Melinda Malone turned in request to take two days vacation Thursday and Friday to attend her daughter's cheer camp. The mayor told Melinda that everyone in town has known about the cheer camp since March. Melinda was advised that she failed to give proper notice and the request was denied. Melinda claimed harassment but the Mayor told her that "you failed to give proper notice and your request is denied."

Note: Other views on the Cherokee situation will be published this week.