By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter
regular August meeting of the Trenton City Commission was sparsely attended
already, with Police Commissioner Sandra Gray on duty at her emergency medical
technician job and Fire and Utilities Commissioner Tommy Lawson away dealing
with a family medical situation.
But the Aug. 12
meeting went on to became notable for its revelations of who would not be
showing up next time: Greg Houts, the
city’s streets commissioner, declared he is stepping down immediately, and
Debbie Tinker, who has reported for the Dade County Chamber of Commerce at city
and county meetings every month in this reporter’s long and cobwebbed memory,
announced her resignation in September.
Houts, always a
man of few words, was a man of fewer on Monday, sufficing it to say he would be
moving back to his family’s home place in Rising Fawn following the recent
death of his mother. As such, he
explained, he would no longer satisfy Trenton’s residency qualification to
serve on the commission.
unable to vote on a motion concerning himself, and Commissioners Lawson and
Gray missing in action, only Parks and Recreation Terry Powell was alone on the
roll call for the vote accepting Houts’ resignation, but Mayor Anthony Emanuel
supported the approval and the motion duly passed.
Houts had not
been up for reelection this year, but Mayor Emanuel said the city will adjoin a
special election to its regularly scheduled elections this November. Trenton’s police commissioner, parks and
recreation commissioner and city clerk positions had already been up for grabs
this year. Now the streets commissioner
slot is open as well.
wishing to run for Houts’ position – or for any of the other city positions
available – may come to City Hall on Highway 11 South from Aug. 26 through 29
to qualify. Qualification fee is $108. For more information, readers may call City
Hall at (706) 657-4167.
Lucretia Houts – who says she will, by the way, seek reelection to her job as
she has every term since first winning it in 1989 – explained after the meeting
that Streets Commissioner Houts (to whom she is related by marriage) first
stood election for his post in 2011. He
had been appointed streets commissioner two years earlier when his predecessor,
Barton Harris, became mayor.
As for Debbie
Tinker, Mayor Emanuel expressed appreciation for her years if service at the C
of C, and Eloise Gass, on hand to represent Trenton Tree City, observed, “I
can’t imagine anybody that would work any harder.”
But Ms. Tinker
said the Chamber is in fact now taking applications for her successor. Resumes may be dropped off at the Chamber
offices in the old Trenton railway depot, she said, or interested parties may
call (706) 657-4488.
And still on
the subject of succession, interested parties and local politics, the Trenton
city meeting had an attendee it hadn’t seen since election year 2012: Alan Painter, who lost last year’s Republican
primary to John Deffenbaugh for the District 1 Georgia House of Representatives
seat. Painter said politics get into the
blood and didn’t deny interest in further participation in same.
agenda was short. Commissioner Lawson in
absentia requested approval of SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax)
funds in several different amounts – $10,499, $5000, $4,129 and $6,425 – to
repair or replace various sewer or fire department capital equipment. All were approved.
Recreation Commissioner Terry Powell also asked for approval for SPLOST funds
for a pool lift for use in the city pool by the handicapped and/or
elderly. “I think a lot more people
would use the pool if they had access to getting in and out,” he said. He said the lift was in aany case required
under the American with Disabilities Act and would cost around $8000 including
asked for approval of $6000, plus $500 for concrete and installation, in SPLOST
money to buy a new merry-go-round for Jenkins Park. Both measures were approved.
gave routine monthly reports for the two missing commissioners as well as his
own usual detailed financial report. He
stressed that though revenues were down for July, in the larger picture they
are fairly uniform year to year, and that he fully expects the city to achieve
a zero balance budget, with revenues and expenditures identical, by the end of
manager Marshana Sharp reminded all that the library had begun its new, reduced
hours this week, open only Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, though the
institution’s nonprofit Friends group was working on collecting funds to open
it back on Saturday mornings. In that regard,
she invited all to attend the library’s new-and-used book sale this week and
next, ongoing each day the library is open.
reported for the Trenton Arts Council that it would be partnering with the
library, the Chamber and Friends of Cloudland Canyon State Parks for upcoming
events. She said Citizens Bank and Trust
had granted permission to use its property as the site of an upcoming ArtScape
public art sculpture, and she boasted that a CD of music and TAC’s signature “
Beatnik Poetry” reading featured at the “Appalachian Renaissance” event the
group staged in May was on sale in a Nashville venue. “We have hit Nashville, boys and girls,” she
interested in buying the CD may contact TAC at (706) 657-8858.
reported Tree City had worked mostly on maintaining flowerbeds recently but
would soon begin fall tree planting.
meeting of the Trenton City Commission is scheduled for Sept. 9.