Confusion At City Council Meeting; Mobile Food Vendor Ordinance Passes
Written by Mark Chreene on July 7, 2021
There was confusion during the Minden City Council Tuesday night, as the Mayor and members of the council were at odds over the vote regarding an ordinance for mobile food vendors. The ordinance, No. 1119, concerned occupational licenses for mobile food vendors as well as specific regulations regarding the operating of one. Councilwoman Pam Bloxom made the motion to approve the motion as presented, with Councilman Wayne Edwards seconding the motion.
The vote appeared to pass by a 3-2 vote, with members Vincen Bradford and Terika Walker voting against. While Mayor Terry Gardner pronounced the ordinance approved, Bradford stated that the vote required a two-thirds majority vote. While Bradford, Gardner, nor City Attorney Jimbo Yocom, could verify the specifics of a two-thirds requirement; Gardner declared at the time that the ordinance apparently did not pass. However, approximately one hour after the meeting, Gardner responded to KASO News request on the two-thirds vote requirement for city ordinances.
Gardner stated that after legal counsel review, that a two-thirds majority was not required and that the ordinance passed by the simple 3-2 majority vote. According to City Attorney, Jimbo Yocom, “After researching the question of the number of councilmembers that must vote in the affirmative to adopt an ordinance, the law is clear that a two-thirds majority is not required. The City Charter is silent as to the voting requirements for the adoption of an ordinance.” Yocom said that since the City Charter did not specify, the default is the Revised Statutes. RS 33:406 states that “No ordinance shall be adopted except by the affirmative vote of a majority of the members of the board.” Based on the statute, Yocom said that the ordinance did pass and is lawfully adopted.
In other action taken by the Council:
- The Minden Press-Herald was adopted as the official journal by a 3-2 vote, with Walker and Bradford the dissenting votes.
- Promoted Police officers Reece Tewell and Christopher Cayer to the rank of Officer First Class.
- Reappointed General Leonard Miller to the Minden Municipal Fire and Police Civil Service Board for the term of July 29, 2021-July 29, 2024.
- Approved the request of a 30 day extension from Wise, Martin, and Cole Public Accountants, to complete the city’s annual audit to July 30th.
- Approved Ordinance No. 1118, updating the plumbing code by state law regarding the registration of backflow prevention with a cross-connection control device.
- Declared three transformers removed from Electrical Substations as surplus, setting a minimum sales price of $1,000 per transformer.
- Adopted a resolution removing Debra Smith as City Clerk/Tax Officio for Credit Card Signatory authority.
- Awarded Benton and Brown, as the apparent low bidder, with a bid of $416,500 for Road Project 1-21; for Longleaf and Woodard Drive.
The Council heard from acting City Clerk, Michael Fluhr, who reported that Sales Tax numbers continue to perform well. The city collected $567,561 in May, compared to $531,589 one year ago. The budgeted amount for May 2021 was $512,500. Fluhr said that the city is still on target to pass the budgeted amount for 2021 at approximately $7.1 million for the fiscal year. Fluhr also showed that the cash report for the city showed a slight increase of $100,000 for May, to $16.1 million up from $16 million in April. Also reported during the financial report Tuesday night was that the city would soon be receiving a payment from the American Rescue Plan from the state. The city’s expected payment is $2.189 million for 2021, which is expected this week or next, with another $2.189 million payment in July of 2022.This year’s payment, according to Fluhr, will help offset the amount the city paid to SWEPCO for the winter weather bill from February. Finally, Fluhr stated the city budget for 2021/22 would be available for public inspection at CIty Hall beginning July 13th, with the council vote expected in August.
Police Chief Steve Cropper reported June numbers:
- 1,088 calls for service
- 158 warrants issued
- 86 warrants served
- 97 traffic citations
- 84 arrests
- 192 incident reports
Cropper also reported that STEP numbers for June total 377 tickets issued with 211 of those tickets already paid.
The next meeting of the Minden City Council is scheduled for Monday, August 2, 2021.A Council workshop is scheduled for Tuesday, July 13th beginning at noon in the Pelican Conference Room to hear a presentation from Nextera Energy/Smart Lighting.