Two area residents attended the council meeting, although only one spoke out against the sales tax increase.
Gary Odom said he opposed the tax increase because he was on a fixed income and if there was a two-cent increase, he would buy items outside of the city to avoid paying it.
Instead, he suggested taking vehicles away from city employees, not allowing workers to take vehicles home, adding a monitor to the city’s gas pumps and replacing the city’s time clock with a system that requires fingerprints to clock in or out.
“I know these things cost money, but, in the long run, you’re going to generate revenue,” Odom said.
The city has discussed an increase of one cent, two cents and even percentages between the two. No decision has been made regarding what amount the tax will increase. The council will begin considering ordinances at its next meeting on July 2.
This was the second public hearing, the first was held at a few weeks ago at 6 p.m. That meeting was attended by only a couple of residents and two local business owners.
Odom and Arnold Moorehead both requested the council to take action against a city employee they allege has been speeding through the neighborhood.
The duo also alleged that the employee exploits his position at the city and threatens the residents.
Mayor Petey Ellis said he would look into the matter and deal with any issues, but he would not put the city in the middle of a squabble between individuals who do not like each other.
“We’re not going to referee a neighborhood argument here in the city council meeting,” Ellis said.
The city employee in question was not named in the meeting.
The council also approved moving ahead with locating owners for abandoned or neglected properties around the city.
The city will begin working to clean up or tear down the properties that are labeled nuisances. Many of these properties have previously been burned or partially burned and pose a safety issue for the city.