May Minutes-2005

Village of Forest Hills
Regular Council Meeting
Jackson County Recreation Facility
7:00 p.m., May 2, 2005

The regular meeting of the Village of Forest Hills Council was called to order on May 2, 2005 at 7:05 p.m. by Mayor Jim Davis.  An invocation was given by Mayor Davis.

Present were: Mayor Jim Davis; Councilwoman Sue Burton; Councilmen Richard Iobst, Joe Rossano, and Jim Wallace; Finance Officer Jim Weir; Assistant Clerk Evelyn Rooks-Weir; Sylva Herald reporter, Carey King; Jackson County Greenway Commission Coordinator, David Bates; and resident, Charlie Burton.

Mayor Davis called for approval or corrections to the minutes of the regular April meeting.  Councilwoman Sue Burton noted a discrepancy between the record of the day and the date of the upcoming multi-jurisdictional meeting.  Mayor corrected the date of this meeting to May 10, Tuesday.  Councilman Iobst moved acceptance of the minutes with the correction made.  Councilwoman Burton seconded the motion which passed.

Mayor Davis called for the Financial Report for April, and a report of the recent meeting of the Budget Committee. Finance Officer, Jim Weir reported that there were only two receipts in April - one from ad valorem tax and the other from sales tax.  Only one expense for police protection was incurred.  Current cash on hand is approximately Sixty-four thousand dollars ($64,000).  Weir noted that the budget had been modified in accordance with approval of the Council in April, 2005.  A line, Transfer from fund balance, was added to balance the budget.
Councilman Iobst moved that the Financial Report for April be accepted as presented.  Councilman Wallace seconded this motion which passed without further discussion.

Finance Officer Weir distributed copies of the proposed budget for fiscal year 2005-06.  This proposed budget resulted from a meeting of the Finance Committee that is chaired by Councilman Iobst.  This committee met at the home of Jim Weir on
April 12, 2005.  Weir noted that the auditor who had conducted the audit for the Village in previous years had notified the Village of an increase of fee that seemed unacceptable to the committee.  Weir contacted an accounting firm that does the audit for Dillsboro.  This firm has agreed to conduct the 2005 audit for the Village for approximately thirty-five hundred dollars ($3500), and for approximately thirty-two hundred dollars ($3200) for each of the two following years.  A formal contract should be available from this company for action by the Council at the regular June meeting.
Finance Officer Weir reported that the proposed budget for FY 2005-06 is based on the Village ad valorem tax rate remaining unchanged.  The proposed budget is based upon similar receipts and expenditures as the previous year.  A discussion of specific items of the proposed budget followed.
Mayor Davis introduced item (b) under New Business, that being resignation of the Village Clerk, Ruth Roman.  A discussion regarding payment for the positions of Village Clerk, Village Finance Officer, and police protection followed.  Councilwoman Burton reported that she had received complaints about the police protection, especially in regard to contacting the on-duty policeman.  Mayor Davis responded that he had been given cell phone numbers of policemen who serve the Village and had shared these with the Council members.  He cautioned that these numbers are to be used in a guarded manner.
Councilman Jim Wallace recommended to Mayor Davis that this discussion be continued after a report to be given by David Bates, Jackson County Greenway Commission Coordinator.  Mayor Davis agreed, and asked Mr. Bates to present his report.
Mr. Bates reported to the Council that the Greenway Commission is planning some walking paths linking communities and municipalities in
Jackson County.  A discussion of these plans followed.  Councilman Iobst moved that David Bates be authorized by the Village Council to pursue certain avenues of priorities to follow in developing the valley and adjacent areas to promote greenways, and also to explore the possibility that the valley might be made into some kind of recreation area preserved in its pristine state.  Councilman Wallace seconded this motion which passed with no further discussion.  David Bates was thanked for his report and assistance.
Mayor Davis reopened the town clerk topic.  Councilman Rossano suggested that each Council member contact two Village residents to ask them if they would be willing to serve as a half-time Village clerk.  Councilman Iobst suggested talking with the owners of The University Inn about their providing a room for storage of the Village records.
Councilwoman Burton moved that the proposed budget for 2005-06 that was developed by the Village Finance Committee be presented in a public hearing at the regular June meeting of the Council.  Councilman Wallace seconded this motion.  Discussion included the police protection item in the budget and whether this action is addressing the issue of noise in the Village.  Another item of discussion was the legality of the ordinances of the Village.  Councilman Wallace asked a question regarding who is responsible for maintenance of certain roads in the ETJ area?  Councilman Iobst responded that the road maintenance in the ETJ area is the responsibility of the owners of the property.  The discussion regarding the duties and responsibilities of the police employed by the Village continued.  The Council agreed that a monthly written report would be requested from the policemen.
Mayor Davis called for a vote on the revised proposed budget that was presented by Jim Weir.  The motion passed and a copy is attached for the record.  Mayor Davis asked the chair of the Budget Committee, Richard Iobst, to place necessary notices of the Public Hearing regarding this budget in the Sylva Herald, and post copies in three locations available to the public - in the Jackson County Library, Hunter Library on the WCU Campus, and at the University Inn in the Village.

Mayor Davis inquired of Councilwoman Sue Burton whether she had met with Elizabeth Worley of WCU and other representatives of the WCU/Village Liaison Committee?  Councilwoman Burton responded that this group does not believe the Village ordinances are enforceable.  A discussion of the ordinances and their enforcement followed.

Councilman Rossano reported that Mrs. Irene Hooper was absent because she was attending a county commission meeting relating to the status of the Economic Development Commission.

Mayor Davis addressed items under Old Business.  They were: (a) The multi-jurisdictional meeting will be
May 10, 2005 at 6:00 p.m.; (b) the Village Litter Sweep is scheduled for May 14 at 9:00 a.m.; and (c) The Village has filed to appeal the decision regarding the Summit at Cullowhee.

Under New Business, Mayor Davis reported that the University Inn has been sold to new owners as of
April 30, 2005.  The new owners may be amenable to the Council holding its meetings at the Inn, but this is not confirmed.  Councilman Wallace asked that cell phone numbers and a guide for their use should be distributed to all Council members.  Councilwoman Burton asked that Village residents be given guide lines for reporting problems via the Village webpage.

Mayor Davis asked for any additional Old or New Business.  There being none, he asked for a motion to adjourn.  Councilman Iobst so moved and Councilman Wallace seconded the motion.  Motion passed and the meeting adjourned at
8:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by
Evelyn Rooks-Weir, Assistant Clerk