Council Encountering Rough Water Thursday


Continuing controversies over speed limits and an outside audit of the police department are on the agenda for Thursday's council meeting.

  • Citizens upset about the council's 6-1 vote to raise the speed limit on Tyler Parkway from 25 mph to 40 mph have proposed a compromise. Thursday night, the council will consider a new action to make the speed limit 35 mph.
  • Historically, the final vote on the town's Corporate Strategic Plan (CSP) has not been controversial, however, the addition of language regarding an external audit of the police department has led to divisiveness among members of the council.

According to Town Manager Fred Carpenter there will be language in the plan regarding an external audit of the police department.

"What the council ended with was what I thought a consensus using the word ‘explore'," Carpenter said. "It didn't say do (an external audit) the language said ‘explore' doing (an external audit)."

"I'll wait until the meeting to decide how I will vote on the corporate strategic plan," Councilor Bryan Siverson told the Roundup. "I think an actual external audit of the police is a long shot. I don't mind having language in there about exploring that possibility."

Councilor Barbara Brewer disagreed with Carpenter's view that the majority of the council accepted the language of ‘exploring an audit of the police department.'

"We all said ‘no' -- we were not going to do that unless they did (an audit) of all departments -- we are not singling any one particular department out," Brewer told the Roundup. "(Carpenter) must have heard something that I didn't," Brewer said. "The only time I see fit to do an external audit is if there is truly justification, (when) we feel, as a council as a whole, that there is wrongdoing going on and obviously, at this time, we do not. My vote is ‘no' -- not with that in it."

Councilor Dick Wolfe agreed with Brewer's position when the Roundup asked him if he would be voting for the CSP.

"Absolutely not," Wolfe said. "That issue was raised...and there was a consensus of 5-2 that we not pursue this avenue (of the external audit). It does not belong there and I will never vote for it."

Judy Buettner told the Roundup that she would like to make a motion to take the language about a proposed police audit out of the plan.

"I won't support that part of it," Buettner said. "I would offer an amendment to remove that part of the plan. If I couldn't do that, I would have to vote against the whole thing."

Councilor Dick Reese said he was not sure how he would vote on the CSP, but said that he would prefer to see the word "review" rather than "audit" and supports the town manager in what he deems as necessary.

"I am not interested in supporting, participating in witch hunts, or wasting money to try to accomplish somebody's personal agenda," Reese said. "I'm not trying to say anything -- I'm just sharing my view."

"I intend to support the CSP as submitted," Councilor Robert Henley told the Roundup.

Thursday's town council meeting starts at 6 p.m. in council chambers at town hall. The meeting is open to the public.

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