The Stockton Board of Aldermen numerous appointments to city offices and boards during its Monday, Nov. 4, meeting, and heard a proposal submitted by Cedar County Sheriff James McCrary for police services for the city.
Mayor Mary Norell asked for Dana Dawes to be retained as deputy city clerk, Raymond Heryford as city superintendent and Vanessa Harper as city treasurer, collector and finance officer. All were approved unanimously with Barbara Pate, Mark Frieze, Mary Anne Manring and Larry Koch voting in favor. The board then named Harper to continue as city clerk as well.
Three slates for city boards also passed 4-0. Named to the airport board were Bill Seitz, Bruce Yarnell, Joe Hughes, Michael Saathoff and Pepper Burns. Named to the cemetery board were Marsha Cowan and Larry Johnston. Named to the park board were Teresa Burns, Maggie Bough, Lynn Erickson, Beth Cumins, Janet Bevers, Marilyn Ellis and Becky Groff.
Sheriff McCrary presented a contract for police services in 2020 valued at $175,910,38. No action was taken by the board, as several members questioned how much of the sheriff’s county budget was truly spent policing the city. In past years, the contract was based on the salaries of 4-4.5 deputies, but this one would have five deputies patrolling the city.
“It doesn’t look like we’re all on the same page,” city attorney Peter Lee noted regarding discrepancies in the contract amount versus other sheriff’s office figures as reported by the county clerk’s office.
Manring emphasized the board had no quarrel with the actual services rendered by the sheriff’s office, just the cost.
Norell and Harper said they would meet with McCrary to further clarify where city police services are funded under the proposal.
Elsewhere, Citizens Memorial Hospital representative Kevin Costello showed the board plans to ease the corner of the intersection of Mo. 39 and Third Road in front of the new Lake Stockton Healthcare Facility. Currently the intersection is at a severely acute angle, making for difficult visibility for the turn onto north 39. LSHCF plans to relocate the apex of the intersection about 30 feet to make for a more rounded corner. The board gave its approval to the plan, but LSHCF will need addition permission from county and state authorities.
Norell reported the water department had completed purchase of a 2019 Ford 1500 Classic quad cab truck for $22,121. The price actually was under $25,000 originally budgeted for the truck.
Harper shared an email from Richard Wingender of Liberty Utilities regarding the cost to install and maintain an LED streetlight at Dunlap and Blake streets. Wingender previously had quoted a price of $19.06 per month, but the figure was in error and the actual price would be $33.49 per month. Noting there was a safety issue at the intersection, Manring moved to accept the higher price. The board approved unanimously.
Liquor license renewals for seven Stockton businesses were accepted on 4-0 votes.
Late in the meeting, Pate brought up a concern raised by some citizens following recent Stockton Tiger home football games. The Stockton Quarterback Club sought and received permission from the board to shoot fireworks at the start of the homecoming game against Forsyth, Friday, Oct. 11. The following week, resident Jeremy Stanton shot fireworks on his own every time the Tigers scored in an 80-6 defeat of Pleasant Hope, without a permit from any authorities. Neighbors complained, although not during the game.
Norell read from a report where Stanton later admitted to a sheriff’s deputy he shot the fireworks, and “he knows he will be getting a summons.”
“He knew it was wrong,” Norell said.
The next meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 18, at city hall.