Civic Corner: Board of Aldermen Recap – February 21
By Ricki Garrett, PhD, Alderwoman at Large
The February 7 Board of Aldermen meeting followed a long work session on the Monday evening prior. During that session, the Board had a long conversation about permitting the attendees at either our work sessions or the Board meetings to discuss their concerns or bring issues to the Board.
On the one hand, Mayor Fisher was correct that we had previously allowed our work sessions to be disrupted for several months in a row by multiple speakers, many of whom were repeating the same concerns.
On the other hand, Board members felt there was a benefit in hearing from our constituents, either within the meeting or outside of it.
Unfortunately, that discussion was presented by some on social media as an attempt by the Mayor and Board to shut down discussion, when, in fact, the Board took considerable time in discussing how best to make that input possible. The Board will be looking at ways that we can provide for opportunities to speak to the Board, as a whole, while, at the same time, giving the Board plenty of time to do its work.
In Tuesday night’s meeting, the Board heard a department head report from Marlee Price, Director of Communication and Tourism, about the new website development and the new texting options for receiving up-to-date information from the City and for reporting information to the City. To opt in to receiving information, text Clinton to 91896. To opt in to the capability of reporting information, text HI to 601 488 3563.
The Board approved an ordinance adopting regulations for medical cannabis establishments and also approved the zoning regulations for medical cannabis establishments. These regulations will only go into effect if the citizens vote to approve medical cannabis in the city.
The Board also accepted certification of the signatures received to petition the City to hold a special election to permit the cultivation, processing, sale and/or distribution of medical cannabis and also approved the election to be held on February 28, 2023, at Traceway Park. There was a substitute motion presented to hold the election in all of the City’s voting locations, but it failed, due to the significant cost increase. Another substitute motion was presented to hold the election in three of the six voting locations, but it also failed because of concerns about confusion on where citizens were supposed to vote. The main motion to hold the election at Traceway Park on February 28 passed on a vote of six to one.
The Board also approved the hiring of five additional certified police officers and a crossing guard and the funding for fireworks for the Fourth of July Celebration. The Board also approved another short-term rental property in the Olde Towne area of Clinton.
The other issue that generated the most discussion was whether or not to allow a subdivision variance for Brandon Mizell, which would allow for several landowners in the subdivision to put in individual home sewage treatment systems, rather than connect to the City sewer system, because of the difficult topography of the land. Although the Board had concerns that this issue had not been dealt with prior to the land being sold, they did not want this problem to prevent houses from being built there. For that reason, the variance was approved in a unanimous vote.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Space will be provided in each issue of The Clinton Courier to the Board of Aldermen for a recap of each meeting. Aldermen are asked to volunteer to provide this recap for the Courier.