November 2009

                                                  COUNCIL MINUTES

                                                                 VILLAGE OF FOREST HILLS

                                                                               November 3, 2009



The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills was held in the lobby at the University Inn at 6:00pm

on November 3, 2009.


The following members of the Council were present:

Dick Iobst

Gene Tweedy

Kay Shapiro

Suzanne Stone

Jim Wallace, Mayor


The following Non-Council members were present:

Jim Weir, Finance Officer

Kolleen Begley, Clerk

Carl Hooper, ALT Clerk & Planning Board

Wes Stone, Zoning Coordinator

Bronwyn Burleson, CPA

David Moore, P.A.


(1)    Call to order 6:00pm by Mayor Jim Wallace


(2)    Approval of meeting minutes for October 6, 2009.  A motion to approve the minutes was made by Gene Tweedy, seconded by Dick Iobst, unanimously approved.  


(3)    Jim Weir gave the financial report for the month of October, 2009.    Jim Weir introduced Bronwyn Burleson, a CPA from Burleson & Earley, P.A., the financial auditors for the Village of Forest Hills.  Bronwyn reported that she had given a draft copy to Jim Weir and Kolleen Begley to review prior to sending the required copy to the local government commission.  The audit report is compiled on an accrual basis which differs slightly from the reports that the Council receives because the reports that Jim Weir provides are on a cash basis.  Bronwyn encouraged the Council to read the audit report and particularly the Management Report which gives summary information and helpful information for people who are not accustomed to reading financial statements.   Bronwyn drew attention to the last page of the footnotes where she disclosed the significant future appropriations being a $10,000 donation pledged to the Library as well as the $46,690.00 contract for road resurfacing and repair – of this amount, $35,054 will be paid with Powell Bill funds from the state.  Bronwyn also reported that they moved the entrance sign from “Construction in Progress” last year to a completed asset on the financial statements this year.  Total capitalized amount for the entrance sign is $48,238.00 depreciated over 20 years. Bronwyn reported that the additional expenses to the sign like mulch and landscaping were not included in the $48,238.00 amount that was capitalized and were instead expensed due to the individual expenses being under the $5,000 capitalization threshold as well as the useful life of those additional expenses – an example being mulch, which may have to be done again next year.                                                Jim Weir then addressed the Council and informed them that he found a certificate of deposit at Macon Bank that is paying 2-1/2% interest.  He and Mayor Wallace transferred $50,000 of the $55,824 to this certificate of deposit.  Jim also mentioned that because of the large road resurface and repair expenditure paid in the previous month, he needed to balance the budget by moving $12,700 from prior year accumulated funds to this year’s budget.  Jim Weir went over his current budget report with Council reporting the income and expenses activity for the month of October (which is the fourth month in the current fiscal year) as $1,059 in revenue and $2,494 in expenditures.  (Line item details of these reports can be found on the Village website under Budgets.) A motion to accept the financial report was made by Dick Iobst, seconded by Kay Shapiro, unanimously approved.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


(4)    Police Patrol and ordinance violations in the Village.  Jim Weir reported that Kim Hooper from the Sheriff’s Department could not make the meeting tonight.  Kolleen Begley brought up discussion about the motion made in October’s meeting about using marked vs. unmarked squad cars to patrol the Village.  Mayor Wallace is going to follow up with the Sheriff’s department tomorrow to make that change.  Suzanne Stone expressed her concern that there was a 911 call placed about someone screaming but there was no police sent in response to that call.   Suzanne also expressed the concern that the police were allegedly told by the former Mayor not to enforce the ordinances.  Jim Wallace reported that he hasn’t been in touch with former Mayor Jim Davis on the ordinance enforcements yet.  Gene Tweedy expressed that he feels that the ordinances broken should be followed up with citations and questioned if we need to amend the ordinances in order to be able to execute a citation.    Kay Shapiro also expressed her concern that on top of being residents of Jackson County, we are paying the Sheriff’s Department as a Village and there should have been a response to the 911 call being discussed.   Suzanne Stone asked that Mayor Wallace request that someone else from the Sheriff’s Department be present at December’s meeting to help with some of the concerns if Kim Hooper is unable to attend.  


Resident Ken Dickert addressed the Council.   Attorney David Moore stated that from a law enforcement standpoint, it is difficult to enforce a noise ordinance because it’s difficult to measure and because by the time an officer responds, the noise level could be reduced or not be present at that time.   Discussion about civil fine vs. criminal violation.  The civil aspect has to arise within the administration of the Council – by the zoning coordinator.  David reminded Council that noise disruption falls under civil and that the civil citation has to be served to the homeowner and there is a process to it.  David stated that something to consider might be for an individual to pursue civil action vs. the Village pursuing civil action.  Suzanne stated that a sensible place to start would be sending a letter to the perpetrator from the Zoning Coordinator on behalf of the Village.  David Moore suggested (but not as legal advice) that a uniform policy be put in place outlining a consistent procedure.  David Moore stated that he is able to work with the Village Zoning Coordinator, Wes Stone, on drafting a policy and letter.  Mayor Wallace stated that the Village needs to follow the outlines in place in the ordinances which could potentially mean taking an incident to Civil Court if a letter doesn’t suffice.  Wes Stone asked and received clarification that the ordinances applied to residents as well as homeowners, but ultimately the homeowner is responsible if they are renting their property.  The Council excused David Moore and thanked him for his time. 



(5)    Kolleen Begley and Lee Budahl addressed the Council regarding ideas to improve the entrance sign.  Kolleen recapped that at last meeting there was discussion about cutting down and capping off the posts that are around the sign as well as toning down the colors in the sign.  Kolleen mentioned that there were plenty of people that have offered to help with the work.  Lee Budahl responded to the request for his opinion on how to modify the colors of the entrance sign so they blend into the mountain surroundings. One of Lee’s ideas was to put a glaze over the current colors which would be similar to putting a stain over the colors to tone them down.  Wes Stone suggested using Photo Shop to simulate an end result of using a stain (ie; a mock-up.)  The second suggestion from Lee would be repainting over the current colors with fewer colors and less striking colors.  Kolleen will attempt some computer mock-ups and bring them to the next meeting as well as what the sign might look like with the posts cut down.  Resident Betty Tweedy suggested again that the white backing of the sign be painted so it doesn’t stand out so much from the back.  Lee also suggested taking the mock-ups down to the sign and hold them up to the natural surroundings to see if the new potential colors would blend better.



(6)    B.H. Granning non-state-maintained road trimming.  Mayor Wallace asked Council if we should have B.H. Granning put the Village on their schedule to trim in June and then again in October-November, 2010.   It was suggested to just wait until 2010 to make that decision.  Kolleen asked about the procedure to get the Village to pay for gravel maintenance on the portion of Cave Springs Road that is Powell Bill Fund eligible.   (The portion of Cave Springs Road that is eligible for Powell Bill Fund expenditures is from the beginning of the road up to the Michelsen’s house.)   Kolleen reported that Tim Green is scheduled to do the semi-annual road maintenance on Cave Springs Road (gravel) the week before Thanksgiving.  Dick Iobst made a motion to approve up to $200 to go toward the grading of Cave Springs Road, seconded by Kay Shapiro, unanimously approved. 





(7)    Community Watch Program update.    Potential Block Coordinators include Gurney Chambers, Linda Dickert, Suzanne Stone, Jim Wallace, and Kolleen Begley.


(8)    Corrections for voter address listing.  Jim Wallace contacted the Board of Elections regarding the list of voters that was provided to the Village.  Jim Wallace noted several addresses that were not in the Village of Forest Hills.  Dick Iobst made a motion to have Jim Wallace contact the Board of Elections and have those addresses removed from the voter list, seconded by Gene Tweedy, unanimously approved.


(9)    Guest speakers for the December Council meeting.  Miles Komuves and a CURVE representative will be making presentations.








There being no further public business (and no other persons to be heard), a motion to adjourn was made by Dick Iobst, seconded by Kay Shapiro and unanimously approved.  The meeting adjourned at 7:56pm.