The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen have established procedures for members of the public to speak at city board meetings.
By a vote of 5 to 0, the city council Monday night adopted the following resolution as presented by Alderman Tonya Sullivan:
" Whereas, in our system of representative government, the Mayor and City Board members are charged with the responsibility of informing themselves and making sound decisions that affect the lives of the citizens of Smithville; and
Whereas, it is a commonly accepted practice in Tennessee cities to provide an opportunity for citizens input, as part of the board meetings so long as such comments are not permitted to degenerate into debates between citizens and the Mayor or board members; and
Whereas, it is the desire of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Smithville that citizens be provided the opportunity to make comments at board meetings in accordance with established procedures; and
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Smithville:
Citizens of the City of Smithville are hereby authorized to make comments at the beginning of each regular or special called meeting of the board, in accordance with the following:
The person desiring to speak should rise, address the Chair, and when recognized, state their name and address. Only residents, business owners and property owners of the City of Smithville shall be allowed to speak during the "comments by citizens" part of the board's agenda, unless requested to do so by the board.
After providing the required information, the person shall be allowed to speak for three minutes on any matter of concern to the citizen.
All citizens comments shall be directed to the Mayor. The Mayor may address questions to individual aldermen, but in no event will the citizen be permitted to call names, question the integrity or motive of individual aldermen or the Mayor, or make personal or derogatory comments.
It is the responsibility of the Mayor to maintain order at city board meetings."
Mayor Taft Hendrixson said he supports this resolution.
Concerned citizen Sherry Bush, addressed the board, thanking them for this action. "I just want to say thank you, to all of you, but particularly to Ms. Sullivan who took the time and the effort to draft such a proposal. I appreciate your upholding our rights to speak and let our feelings be known. So thank you very much."
Meanwhile, in other business, the aldermen adopted a resolution authorizing the application for Community Development Block Grant Funds from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to address water system needs.
The resolution reads as follows: "Whereas, the City of Smithville is eligible for grant funds under the Fiscal Year 2009 Community Development Block Grant Program administered by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, and
Whereas, the City of Smithville is in dire need of improvements to their raw water intake to make it capable of drawing water during periods where the lake water level is drastically lowered and improvements to address the renovation of their existing water treatment facility; and
Whereas, the health and welfare of the community is adversely affected by the system's problems; and
Whereas, the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the city believe the correction of the water system problem should be a priority; and
Whereas, the city is eligible for a maximum grant of $500,000 under the Community Development Block Grant Water/Sewer category;
Whereas, the city is eligible for a Community Development Block Grant up to 89% (86% plus the 3% Three Star bonus) of the total project cost.
Now, therefore be is resolved by the Board of Mayor and Aldermen that;
The Mayor be authorized and directed to:
Execute and submit an application for CDBG funds to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development in order to address the water problem for the community.
The Board of Mayor and Aldermen hereby authorize an amount to be no less than 11% of the total project cost to serve as matching funds in order to secure the Community Development Grant funds. These matching funds will be acquired from the City of Smithville Water and Sewer Revenue Fund.
The Upper Cumberland Development District shall prepare all necessary documents for the completion of said project at no charge to the City of Smithville. Should said CDBG grant be approved, UCDD shall be engaged to perform all administrative services for said project."