Monterey Town Council July Meeting

The Monterey Town Council wrestled with the issue of how issues are brought before it for consideration at last Thursday’s organizational meeting. Mayor Rich Holman broached the topic, saying that all too often, he had seen policy made based on second hand or anonymous information, and he felt there should be a level of accountability in place, and proposed that in the future, business be brought before the council in person, or by letter if the individual was unable to attend the meeting. Vice mayor Ronald Wimer disagreed, saying that there are valid reasons for anonymity, and every forum should have the capability to receive complaints in that manner. Town Attorney Melissa Dowd agreed, saying she could not recommend placing limits on how the council is addressed, based on good government procedures. Mayor Holman stressed that his comments were based on openness,  courtesy and convenience – knowing of an issue ahead of the meeting gives the council proper time to research and prepare to discuss the issue properly. A potential compromise was reached at the suggestion that citizens who wish to address the Council contact the Town Secretary to be placed on the agenda a certain number of days in advance of the meeting. Ms. Dowd agreed to look into the town procedures to see if such a provision was already in place.

One resident did appear before the Council to discuss an issue during the meeting. Rebecca Walker, who lives on Academy Hill, informed the members that water pressure to her house, and certain neighbors’ houses, was consistently low.She had engaged a plumber to check her system, who recommended she install a pressure tank. The Council members were sympathetic, having experienced similar issues themselves, but there was no action they could take to address the problem, other than suggesting she take the plumber’s advice.

In other water related matters, it was noted the the water and sewer procedures, which govern who and how water is shut off to properties, are going to be reviewed and updated.

In old business, Mayor Holman reported that discussions were ongoing to acquire an intern for the town through the Valley Workforce program, who could potentially provide up to 400 hours of labor. He also reported that research was being done on portable ramps, which could potentially be installed at the office’s rear entrance to meet ADA compliance.

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Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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