Forest Hills Council Meeting 6-7-04

Council Meeting


Monday, June 7, 2004


The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills Council was called to order by Mayor Jim Davis on June 7, 2004, at 7:06p.m.


Present were: Mayor Jim Davis; Councilwoman Sue Burton; Councilmen Richard Iobst, Joe Rossano, and Jim Wallace; Attorney Jay Coward; Finance Officer Jim Weir; Planning Board Representative Eugene Tweedy; Sylva Herald Reporter Cary King; and recorder Evelyn Rooks-Weir. Residents present were: Charlie Burton, Lee Budahl, Mary Ann Budahl, Clark Corwin, Angela Davis, Sally James, Betty Tweedy, Ed Vassian and Violet Vassian.


Welcome and invocation were given by Mayor Jim Davis.


Mayor Davis asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the April and May regular council meetings.  Councilman Wallace moved that corrected minutes for April and May be approved.  Councilman Iobst seconded this motion.  Motion passed.  Mayor Davis noted that a Village clerk has not been named at this point, but a closed meeting of the council will be called immediately after this open meeting of the council to discuss personnel matters.  At that time, the clerk’s position and applicants will be discussed.


Mayor Davis asked Finance Officer Jim Weir to present the May financial statement to the council.  Jim Weir reported that six-hundred and seventy-nine dollars ($679.00) had been received from sales tax and interest; five-hundred dollars ($500.00) were paid for police protection.  Councilman Iobst moved and Councilman Wallace seconded that this report be accepted.  Motion passed.  Jim Weir asked the council to direct him regarding instructions for the sheriff’s office for patrols during the month of August.  Councilwoman Burton moved that police patrol be suspended during the first two weekends of August, and resumed the third weekend in August.  Councilman Wallace seconded this motion which passed. 


Mayor Davis noted that Mrs. Irene Hooper was not present to give a report on activities of the Economic Development Committee.


Mr. Eugene Tweedy, was asked by Mayor Davis , to give a report on activities of the Planning Board.  Mr. Tweedy noted that no meeting had been held in May, so the status of activity of the Planning Board is the same as it was in April.


Councilwoman Burton reported that the Village/University Liaison Committee is not meeting during the Summer when some student representative members are away from the campus.  This committee will resume activity in the Fall.


Councilman Wallace reported that the Village Green Way Committee has joined forces with the Jackson County Green Way Program which is pleased to have the Village join their efforts.  Councilman Wallace gave a brief explanation of what the Green Way Program is.  He noted that it is a massive plan to connect communities in Jackson County by means of paved paths for foot and bike traffic.  The design of these paths will incorporate extensive safety features that are costly and will necessarily require incremental development over a long period of time.  The Jackson County contact persons for this project are Jim Dukes and David Bates.  Councilwoman Burton commented that the recently constructed paved bike path between Sylva and WCU was made possible through the use of Federal Grant monies and were not a part of the long-term county green way program.  Councilman Wallace referred those interested to see the June 3, 2004 issue of the Sylva Herald which carried an excellent report of the plans for the Jackson County Green Way Program.  This report outlined specifically planned paths and when each is anticipated to be completed.


All committee reports having been given, Mayor Davis opened the public hearing on the proposed budget for the Village of Forest Hills for the fiscal year 2004-05.  Mayor Davis asked the Chair of the Budget Committee, Councilman Iobst to conduct this hearing which began at 7:23p.m., June 7, 2004.  Mayor Davis also asked that speakers please limit their questions and/or remarks to three minutes each.  Chairman Iobst asked Finance Officer Weir to comment generally on the proposed budget.  Weir noted that the budget was developed based on revenue and expenditures being approximately the same as the previous year.  The budget committee has discussed the possibility that property taxes may be increased, but this is conjecture at this time and the specific amount could not be determined at the time the proposed budget was developed.  Weir pointed out to the audience that a major expenditure is for police protection.  Chairman Iobst reminded those present that on-going expenses incurred in the operation of a city include attorney retainer, and police and fire protection.  He also reminded those present that the Village of Forest Hills has the lowest millage rate of any of the incorporated areas in Jackson County.

A discussion regarding services provided residents of the Village followed. Councilman Wallace moved that the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2004-05 be approved.  Chairman Iobst seconded this motion.  Discussion continued.  Councilman Wallace called for the question on the motion on the floor.  Chairman Iobst called for the question on the motion to approve the proposed budget and the motion passed.


Mayor Davis asked for a status report from the committee that is revising the zoning ordinances.

Councilman Wallace said that each council member has been given a hard copy of the revisions to peruse and correct or approve.  When these corrections have been incorporated into one copy, then it can be given back to the council for their approval.  Once approved by the council, it will be given to the Attorney for his examination.  Items being dealt with in the ordinance revision include use of fire arms, neighborhood appearance, parking regulations, pet control, emergency management, etc.  A discussion regarding the definition of “family” and property owner’s responsibilities was conducted with Attorney Coward.

Mayor Davis asked if the revised zoning ordinances would be ready for a public hearing at the regular meeting of the Village council in July?  Councilwoman Burton noted that the July council meeting would fall on the July 4th weekend.  Councilman Iobst moved that the regular meeting of the

Village Council be held on July 6, 2004.  Councilman Wallace seconded the motion which passed.  Mayor Davis announced that the meeting place will be confirmed and council members notified.  Residents will be notified via the web page.


Mayor Davis announced that the public hearing on the revised zoning ordinances will be held at the regular open meeting of the council on August 2, 2004.  Councilwoman Burton was asked to get the announcement of the public hearing to the Sylva Herald for its required publication.


Mayor Davis announced that an alternate for the Zoning Board of Adjustment is needed in case there is a particular time when one of the members is unable to serve.  Current members of this board are: members of the council, Jean Adams, and Mike Germano.  A hearing for this board is anticipated in the near future.  Councilman Wallace gave the names of three residents from whom he had gotten permission to submit their names for this alternate position.  They were: Sally James, Ed Vassian, and Vi Vassian.  A discussion regarding the procedure for arrangements for a hearing was carried on.  Councilman Iobst moved that Sally James’ name be added to the Zoning Board of Adjustment as an alternate immediately.  Motion was seconded by Councilman Wallace.  Motion passed.  Angela Davis was asked if she would be willing to serve as a second alternate on this board.  She responded, “Yes”.  Councilman Iobst moved that Mrs. Davis’ name be placed on the Zoning Board of Adjustment as a second alternate.  Motion passed after being seconded by Councilman Wallace.


Eugene Tweedy noted that the terms of office of each of three members of the Planning Board expire June 30, 2004.  These are David Shapiro, Joe Roman and himself.  Councilman Iobst suggested that a list of possible Planning Board members be presented to the council so that potential members might be contacted to see if they would be willing to serve in this capacity.  Then the council can formally vote on members at an upcoming council meeting.


Mayor Davis announced that the web page is currently operational and has been accessed by some residents.  He encouraged all residents to use this means of communicating with the council and keeping abreast of Village activities and information.


Councilwoman Burton announced that she had contacted the county regarding replacement of stolen street signs.  If the Village will be responsible for installing these signs, they can be replaced for twenty-five dollars ($25.00) each.  Jim Weir was instructed to send Councilwoman Burton a check for fifty dollars for replacement of two street signs.


Councilman Wallace asked that he be appointed chair of a committee to follow-up with the State Department of Transportation to learn what the requirements are for them to take over the road maintenance in the Village.  He was appointed to this position.


The regular open meeting of the Council of the Village of Forest Hills was adjourned at 8:45p.m.