Evidently there has been a misunderstanding of my statement in the prior council meeting, stated Councilwoman Karen Caldwell in this week’s council meeting, and it has caused some contention.
At no time did I ever say to hire firemen, Caldwell emphasized. She went on to say she does want to explore the budget to see if there is a possibility to hire one person as an administrator for the fire department without increasing taxes. An administrator would take care of all paperwork, calling on volunteers, etc., which would give the firemen time to be with their families, she said.
Caldwell also suggested citizen volunteer hours could be used at the fire station for cleaning, possible mechanizing equipment, finding grants, etc. during the week. I know we support our firemen and this would be a good way to show it, she stated.
Citizen Patti Tillman cautioned council members while they are searching ways to pay for firemen to remember Corinne citizens that are on fixed incomes, single mothers, older people who want to stay in their homes and not be forced to pay higher taxes. She said the council was always talking about fixing the sewer and water projects, and these things should come before hiring firemen. Again, Caldwell reassured Tillman that hiring firemen by raising taxes was not the intent.
There is a need for an appeal authority for the city, agreed council members. That person would investigate and judge the need for a variance of an ordinance. For instance, the request from a city dweller for more animals in certain confined areas, or whether or not a fence is in the right place, or any question of conformity to an existing city ordinance would be brought to the appeal authority for a decision.
This person should be one from outside the city so that prior prejudice or community emotion would be avoided in the decision making process. Caldwell suggested such a person. Council members requested he attend the next city meeting with full details of his service.
Councilwoman Irene Jensen stated that the city park was being abused by students from the school. By the time officers are called, the students are back at the building. It was suggested that any pictures or videos of them in the park would be helpful.