October 14, 2008

7:00 PM – The regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council


The municipal government of the Town of Brookneal met with the following members present:


James Nowlin, Vice Mayor

Kenneth Jennings, Stacey Hailey, Tracy Meisenbach, and Robert Jean, Council Members

Bobbie A. Waller, Clerk/Treasurer

Mike Crews, Public Works Director, and Interim Town Manager

Ricky Cousins, Police Chief

Absent:  Phyllis Campbell, Mayor

Richard Adams, Council Member






Upon motion by Robert Jean, seconded by Stacey Hailey, and unanimously carried, Council approved the agenda for the October 14, 2008, regular meeting of the Brookneal Town Council.





Vice Mayor Nowlin asked for approval of the September 9, 2008, Council meeting minutes.  Ms. Meisenbach said that there needs to be some corrections on the minutes.  Concerning the vote under items from Council, Councilperson Meisenbach said that she did not say this was a failed vote, Mayor Campbell did.  Clerk/Treasurer Bobbie Waller asked Ms. Meisenbach to come in the office and listen to the tape as the minutes were taken directly from the tape.  Ms. Meisenbach said she would.  Vice Mayor Nowlin said that since there was an issue with the minutes, the Council would not approve these minutes tonight, but wait until the November meeting to do so.





Vice Mayor Nowlin asked that the October 2008 treasurer’s report be filed for audit.  Councilperson Jennings voiced his concerns about the Town having more than the FDIC insured amount in BB&T.  Ms. Waller and Interim Town Manager Mike Crews assured Mr. Jennings that according to Jerry Reynolds, our auditing firm, those public funds, no matter what the amount are covered.  Mr. Crews said that he would follow up with Mr. Reynolds to verify this.





Be it resolved that motion was made by Kenneth Jennings, seconded by Stacey Hailey, and  unanimously carried, authorizing the payment of the invoices for the period of September 10, 2008, to October 14, 2008, in the amount of $29,650.63.





Ms. Gloria Roach, of 207 Marshall Street, appeared before Council concerning a billy goat that she has on her property.  She said a neighbor told her that a police officer had been to her home concerning her goat, and that the officer said that “either she had to go or her billy goat had to go.”  She said the goat is on a leash at all times.  Chief Cousins said that it is in the Brookneal code that you can not have a goat running at large.  Ms. Roach said the goat is not running at large.  Ms. Meisenbach said that there is a stipulation on livestock that they cannot be penned closer than 200 feet to another property line, so if she has him on a chain and is moving him around and not keeping him in a particular spot then that would cover that issue.  Mr. Crews said that Ms. Roach does not have that much property.  Mr. Robert Jean made a motion that since she appears to be within the Town guidelines (not running at large and keeping livestock penned within 200 feet of another property line), she be allowed to keep the goat unless further complaints and disturbances are made.  Mr. Jennings seconded the motion, and it received all ayes.




A total of 30 citations have been issued since the last Town Council meeting.  They included 19 speeding tickets, one ticket for revoked driving, one ticket for driving suspended, two tickets for reckless driving, and six other traffic citations.  Two individuals were charged with breaking in the Tarkett building.  One warrant was served for violation of probation, one warrant served for domestic assault and battery, one man was charged for a stolen vehicle, one for threat of arson, and there was a vehicle pursuit that took place into Halifax County.  This gentlement was charged with driving with a revoked license, eluding a police officer, reckless driving, and speeding.  There was also an attempted burglary in Town over the past weekend.


Chief Cousins also informed Council of an accident involving Sergeant Brian Carr’s police vehicle on October 13, 2008.  He was run off the road by a tractor trailer on Lusardi Drive.  Councilperson Jennings asked about overtime in the police department, and if Chief Cousins could give him an overtime report.  Chief Cousins said that he did not have an overtime report, but he could give him an average for the month.  He said they work an average of 9 hours per month overtime.  Mr. Jennings said he thought there was supposed to be no overtime in the police department.  He asked Chief Cousins to bring an overtime report to the next Council meeting.


Councilperson Meisenbach asked about the status of the K9 grant.  Officer Earhart said that the dog was ordered and arrived in Philadelphia, PA last Friday.  It is a male German shepherd.




Public Works Director Mike Crews informed the Council that a new water treatment plant operator to replace Travis Stocker has been hired.  His name is Kevin Williams, and he began his employment on October 6, 2008.


Mr. Crews said that fall cleanup for the Town of Brookneal will be held November 3 though November 14, 2008.  An ad will be placed in the Union Star regarding the specifics of what will be picked up.  He said there will also be an electronics recycling day, sponsored by the Region 2000 Services Authority, on November 22, 2008, at the former Star Value Parking Lot.


Mr. Crews said this issue was referred to the Finance and Planning Committee to get together pricing on a new versus refurbished sanitation vehicle.


Upon motion by Kenneth Jennings, seconded by Robert Jean, and unanimously carried, the Council voted to transfer funds in the amount of $306,451.00 to pay for the design of the water project.




Per Physical Development Committee member Tracy Meisenbach, at the 4:00 committee meeting, the physical development committee reviewed information on letters and cleanup concerning the blight situation in the Town brought to the Council by Interim Town Manager Mike Crews.  The committee felt that Mr. Crews should be allowed to proceed forward and enforce the blight ordinances and if necessary, proceed into legal action with the people who are refusing to comply.  Any legal action will be brought back to the Council for approval on a case by case basis.  Upon motion by Stacey Hailey, seconded by Tracy Meisenbach and unanimously carried, Council accepted the recommendation of the physical development committee in allowing Mr. Crews to proceed with enforcing the blight ordinances.


Councilperson Jennings made a motion of recommendation to the mayor to appoint a new chairperson for the town manager search committee.  Mr. Jennings felt like Mr. Adams has too much of a workload to have a meeting for the town manager search committee.  Vice-Mayor Nowlin felt that in the absence of the mayor, he would rather Mr. Jennings talk with the Mayor before going through with this motion.  After much discussion, the motion was seconded by Tracy Meisenbach.  A roll call vote was taken as follows:



Mr. Jennings               Aye                  Mr. Jean          Abstain

Ms. Meisenbach         Aye                  Mr. Hailey       Nay


The motion therefore carried.


Councilperson Jennings felt that Mr. Bill Gillespie should be relieved of his duties with the Town.  Mr. Jean said that he felt like we need to keep Mr. Gillespie until the water project design is accepted by the Health Department.


Councilperson Meisenbach brought up the issue of vacation pay for the police department that was brought up a couple of months ago.  Interim Town Manager Mike Crews had told the Council in July that his recommendation was to pay the police department and the water plant employees for holidays as they occur instead of giving them a day off to take at their convenience.  Mr. Crews felt that the Town is going to lose coverage in the police department by giving them an extra day off for a holiday.  Ms. Meisenbach felt that sometimes a day off is more important than compensation to police officers.  She said that all departments should be treated equally and that the police department and water plant department were the only ones this is affecting.  Mr. Crews said that is because they are the only departments that have to work on holidays.  Mr. Crews asked that the issue be tabled until the next Council meeting in which he requested a closed session to discuss personnel matters pertaining to the police and water plant departments.


Ms. Meisenbach also announced that the Chamber of Commerce would be sponsoring a “meet the candidates forum” on Tuesday, October 28, 2008, at 7:30 p.m. at the community building.


Mr. Crews told the Council that Paul Harvey of Campbell County would like to meet with the Brookneal Planning Commission regarding the comprehensive plan on December 22, 2008.



Upon motion from Kenneth Jennings, seconded by Tracy Meisenbach, and unanimously carried, Vice Mayor Nowlin announced that the October 14, 2008, Council meeting was adjourned.





___________________________                  ____________________________

Bobbie A. Waller                                             James A. Nowlin

Clerk/Treasurer                                               Vice Mayor

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