It was a full house June 25 when the Cairo City Council met for the first time in a month.
All councilpersons were in attendance and mayor Tyrone Coleman, who has been out of the office for nearly four weeks for medical reasons, led the meeting. Perhaps the most notable attendee, however, was Linda Jackson who, despite poor health, came in person to the meeting. Jackson usually attends via telephone and therefore cannot be counted towards quorum. Jackson said she decided to attend in person to ensure there was a quorum.
“I was do or die to get down here so we could get some business done,” Jackson said.
There was a lot business to get caught up on. The agenda consisted of items dating back nearly six weeks and first on the list was to decide how much to pay Cairo Emergency Manager Phillip Matthews. The Council voted 4-3 with mayor Coleman breaking the tie, to assign to the position a yearly salary of $2,400 to be paid monthly in $200 increments. Councilpersons Thomas Simspon, Jackson and Richard Pitcher voted against the motion. Jackson voted yes on a previous motion that would have paid a yearly salary of $1,200 and said they city could not afford the position to begin with but because it was created, some compensation should be established.
In a vote of 4-3 with Coleman weighing in, the Council approved a motion to establish of a licensing fee of $25 for video gambling machines registered in the City. In discussion Philip Hodges said he thought the amount was too low. City clerk Lori Hesselrode noted it was the maximum they were allowed to charge by law. Simpson voted against the motion and Lorenzo Nelson passed. The Council also voted to approve the application form for gaming machines, however for this motion, Purchase voted yes, providing enough votes in favor that the mayor did not have to cast a vote.
The council also approved to release $5,000 for street maintenance near 20th St. and to rezone lots 19 and 20 as well as block 44 from multi-family to business at the request of property owners Jack and John Guetterman.
During his remarks, Coleman requested each department head draft and turn in to him department procedures detailing work to be completed and a chain of command. He said there is a lot of time not being managed and a lot of work not being done. Coleman said he wants accountability for each department and he said the documents he is requesting will help bring this. Coleman said once these are drafted they will be presented to the Council.
Nelson approached the Council about a community member who wishes to make a donation of two basketball hoops to be placed in one of the tennis courts in St. Mary’s Park. It was decided the quality of the donated equipment should be determined before committing to installation.
— Isaac Smith can be reached at (618)-734-4242