By Lee Weyhrich
The Pinson City Council was sworn into office by Justice Mike Bolin on Monday. Bolin congratulated the young City of Pinson, established in 2004, on the progress that had been made in a short amount of time.
“I was here for your first election,” Bolin said. “This place is just wonderful. You should all be so proud.”
Incumbents sworn in Monday were Mayor Hoyt Sanders, Councilwoman Dawn Tanner for Place 1, Councilman Joe Cochran for Place 2, Councilman John Churchwell for Place 4 and Councilwoman Joy McCain for Place 5. Newly elected Councilman Robbie Roberts was sworn in for Place 3 and will replace Shane Shelnutt.
Tanner will resume her position as chairman of the Finance Committee, Cochran will remain chairman of the Public Safety Committee and McCain will continue as Enhancements Committee chairman.
By unanimous decision, Marie Turner will remain in the combined position of city clerk and treasurer. John Churchwell has been named Mayor Pro Tempore, as well as the chairman of Annexation. Shane Black will remain as city attorney.
The mayor appointed Donnie West as the administrative official to the Planning Commission and McCain was nominated for the council seat on the Planning Commission.
The council also ratified new rules relating to the deposit and expenditure of city money. The city clerk/treasurer will be given all checkbooks, account statements and other financial documents. Furthermore, the mayor, mayor –pro tempore and the city clerk/treasurer are to be listed as signatories on all accounts. Two signatories are required for any withdrawal of funds from city accounts. This does not include the library’s petty cash fund.
The biggest change to the city’s financial rules is the inclusion of a cap for non-emergency items that come up between regular meetings. Individual items are capped at $1,000, but the total of all items between meetings cannot exceed the $5,000 cap.
“We have been operating under this rule for a while now,” Sanders said. “This just adds the language to our resolution.”
In addition to the new financial rules, the council voted on the new ordinance for procedure. Section 6 of the ordinance states that no council member may speak on the same subject more than twice without permission. Section 7 states that no non-councilperson may address the council without permission.
The major change to the procedural ordinance comes from Section 10, which establishes a 48 hour rule.
According to Section 10 of the ordinance, “All motions, resolutions and ordinances (whether or not the same are intended to be of permanent operation) shall be in writing at the time of their introduction and shall have been presented to the members of the council a minimum of 48 hours before the meeting at which they are introduced.”
Without 48 hour notice, no ordinance or resolution may be adopted by the council unless it receives unanimous consent. Exceptions to this rule are procedural motions, motions or resolutions to nominate or appoint a person for something, motions to amend , motions or resolutions to expend funds already budgeted (such as the payment of bills) , or motions to expend funds of $5,000 or less