Rector Council Welcomes New Mayor, Members
The City of Rector welcomed a new mayor and three new members of its City Council during Monday's regular meeting of the Council in the courtroom at city hall. Justice of the Peace Jeff Douglas was present to swear in new mayor Teresa Roofe, incumbent alderman David Romine and newly-elected Council members Lark Sigsby, Iva Fahr and Ryan Lawrence prior to the start of the meeting. Former mayor David Freeman also attended the ceremony, wishing the new mayor and Council the best in their efforts, and offering his assistance in support of the community.
The new officials were soon in action, discussing a concern with a citizen in attendance. Charles Faught brought forth concerns regarding dogs being loose in his neighborhood on Sikes Road, despite city and state laws requiring leashes and collars.
"We need to do something about these dogs," Faught said. "It's nothing to see five or six dogs, and they're not on leashes or collared."
Faught noted he witnessed dogs fighting near his home recently, and he and a passerby made attempts to break up the fight. Faught says he has made complaints to the police department and to the city's part-time animal control officer, but the animals remain a problem.
City superintendent Todd Watson pointed out the city is working to control the problem, noting animal control captured 57 dogs in 2014 and 47 in 2013. Watson also said repeat violators of leash laws receive fines and asked for citizens like Faught to help the city crack down on owners who let their dogs run loose through town.
"If you know whose dog it is, we'd like to know," Watson said. "If they're running loose we need to issue a citation."
Faught said he didn't know who owned the animals. Watson assured him the city would work to identify the loose dogs in order to have the matter resolved.
Larry Gore presented the Council with a written letter of planned improvements to be made to 1205 South Phillips, per a previous agreement with city officials. The plan calls for several repairs to the residence in order to bring it up to city code.
"If you continue making progress, we'll keep working with you," Alderman Romin said to Gore.
The Council requested Gore make a return visit for an update on his progress at the March meeting.
Fire Chief Huston Bowden spoke with the Council regarding state bylaws which require volunteer firefighters to receive 16 hours of training to be active in fire suppression. Firefighters who do not receive the required amount of training may assist in other ways, but are not legally allowed to take part in the actual fire suppression, such as the application of water, structural entrance and other methods of dousing flames at an emergency call.
Bowden suggested the possibility of the city offering training to allow those with full schedules the opportunity to meet their requirements locally. The chief will look into the possibility and report back to the Council on the feasibility of offering training.
Bowden also requested permission to approach the community directly while seeking funds for updating several pieces of equipment. He hopes this will help the department avoid the necessity of seeking another loan for improvements.
In other business, the Council:
* Approved Resolution 2015-01, amending the 2014 budget.
* Approved Resolution 2015-02, accepting the 2015 budget.
* Heard from Recorder Sheila Dale the city received $15,268 from its share of the countywide sales tax for the month of December.
* Approved the minutes from the December meeting.