The Trenton City Commission's regular monthly meeting on Monday was over in what may be a record--37 minutes. Two of the four city commissioners were absent, little was on the agenda, and Mayor Alex Case explained that what with the holidays and his day job as Dade County's emergency services director he'd been too busy to do as much mayoring in December as he'd have liked.
Mayor Case opened the regular meeting with a moment of silence to mark the passing of Vivien Hester. The rescue squad captain and volunteer firefighter with her long record of community service and the snappy Scots burr in her voice died with tragic suddenness in an automobile accident in Chattanooga last week.
The two city commissioners who attended the meeting reported as follows:
Parks and Recreation Commissioner Terry Powell said the Trenton Civics Center had been rented nine times in December for a total of 70 times in 2016. He also reported that the city animal shelter had processed a total of 76 animals for the year and thanked Ann Brown for helping adopt as many as possible. He did not say how many had been placed.
Streets Commissioner Monda Wooten said her department had been kept busy picking up leaves.
Mayor Case said that of the surplus equipment the city had listed for auction on gov.com all but one item had been disposed of and that he should have a total amount collected to report next month.
Financially, he said Trenton had $293,972 in the general fund and $49,301 in reserves, with hotel/motel tax collections of $89,160 and drug seizures of $19,117.
(Case had reported for absent Police Commissioner Sandra Gray police fines of $19,462.49 collected in December for a total in 2016 of $193,602.70.)
The mayor reported unfinalized preliminary total revenues for the city government as a whole of that $1,868,146 with expenditures of $1,824,036. "We spent less than we received, and that's what we always want to do," he said.
Notably absent from the agenda was any mention of city elections. The elected positions of city clerk, police commissioner and parks/recreation commissioner will be up for grabs this year. Whether or not the current city clerk, Lucretia Houts, will be allowed to run for her position again is unclear. The other elected officials announced without prior discussion in November that they had requested the Georgia Legislature--which incidentally convenes its 2017 session today--to change the clerk position from an elected to an appointed one. City Attorney Rom Womack, of the law firm Womack, Gottlieb and Rodham in LaFayette, did not return phone calls requesting elucidation.
Manager Marshana Sharp reported that the Dade County Public Library would be hosting free computer classes in Microsoft Word 2010 at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 24. She also urged anybody with a story about living in Dade to come tell it on tape for the library's Live History project. The taping needs to be done by the end of February, she said.
Cheryl Painter of the Dade Chamber of Commerce said Fred's Dollar Store needs 20 new workers to help set up its new supercenter on South Main, due to open next month. She reminded all of the Chamber luncheon at noon on Friday, Jan. 20, in the Dade Administrative Building's Commission Room. The speakers are Georgia Schools Superintendent Richard Woods and Dade's own Superintendent Jan Harris. Cost is $10 for a catered lunch. RSVPs are requested but not mandatory--call (706) 657-4488.
Finally, Ms. Painter reminded all that employers can save 7.5 percent on their workers' compensation insurance by participating in the Drugs Don't Work program sponsored by the Chamber.
President Eloise Gass reported that Trenton Tree City had braved the cold and damp just before Christmas to plant trees at Dade Elementary School. With last year's drought, she said, "It wouldn't have done any good to plant them sooner."
(The Dade Planet was on hand that frigid day to capture the adventure on camera. Dade Jailer Jospeh Chambers is shown on the right helping force the frozen trees out of their bucket as he supervises a helpful crew of jail trusties. Ms. Gass huddles in her babushka by the truck bed in the background.)
Bob Dombrowski of the Trenton Arts Council approached the city commission for money for a stone sculpture and garden he wants to place on the creekside near Citizens Banks and Trust. He said CBT was considering his proposal to help finance the piece now. The cost will be $3000. "I'm presuming the city will help out when it starts developing," he said.
The Trenton Cty Commission meets at 6 p.m. on the first Monday of every month.