Lake City Council appoints fire chief, hires police officer

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

The Lake City city council met in regular session Tuesday, Jan. 20, and worked through a lengthy agenda.

Council members approved the recommendation of Police Chief Winred Saffell to hire Jamie Carter, to fill the police department vacancy. Carter's salary was set at $23,000 per year, with a 90 day probation period.

"We had three certified officers put in for this job," Saffell said. "This was a hard decision to make. Jamie will need to take a 40 hour refresher course, after he is hired and established."

Patrolman Steve Chamness was promoted to serve as CIS officer, after the resignation of former agent Frank Lyles. Chamness' salary was increased $90 for each two week pay period.

The council adopted the new policy prohibiting racial profiling.

The council voted to allow employees on-call with the water and sewer department to leave the city limits as long as they stay within a 20 mile radius (an emergency response zone).

Mayor Jerry Bowman appointed Herb Walling to serve as the new fire chief, replacing former chief Herb Davis.

The council passed the Planning and Adoption Budget Ordinance 2004 after placing it on the third and final reading.

Other city business included:

*Juanita Shaffner addressed the council over concerns about disturbances and parking at St. Francis Apartments.

"I called the police about a disturbance next door. A lady was slamming her doors and calling me names when I stepped outside," Shaffner said. "They did not respond to my call."

Police Chief Winred Saffell recalled Mrs. Shaffner's call and explained that the police department had several pressing needs that had to be attended to and were not able to go to Mrs. Shaffner's apartment at that time.

"There is no law against disturbing the peace,' Saffell said. "It would probably be best if you file a complaint against her if it continues. If we drove down there she would probably just go back inside. If she does not do it in my presence, then there is nothing to arrest her on. We did talk to the management about your complaint"

Mrs. Shaffner went on to inquire about the inconsistency of parking tickets, feasibility of posting "no parking" signs, and problems with cats running loose.

Officer Saffell could not recall an instance where officers had given anyone a situation for parking in the street near her apartment.

"I was told by the apartment manager, Jim Bowman, not to park on the street," said Saffell. "Sometimes I need to park there and take my groceries in, then move my car. If I can't park there then no one else should get to park there either."

"You would be cutting off your nose to spite your face if we put "no-parking" signs down there," alderman Randy Blancett said. "You might end up penalizing someone who really needs to park there, at one time or another."

The council discussed the feasibility of placing a "no-parking" on the street by the apartments, but decided not to do so.

"Then if there is no sign up there, then I can park there?" Shaffner asked.

"Where you park is up to you and Jim," Mayor Bowman said.

"I don't know why I have to have his permission, when it is a city street," said Shaffner.

"We are not in the apartment business," Bowman said. "This is something you'll need to work out."

Mayor Bowman also explained that the city did not have an ordinance against cats running free, but the city would be glad to place a cat trap near her home if the feline's became a nuisance. Shaffner declined the offer of the trap.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16, at city hall.

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