Council's Fiscal Choices Focal Point of Meeting
An $8 million proposed bond will be discussed, as well as criticism of the recent spending on Christmas lights and the Canton Theatre renovations.
Both the Canton City Council and the concerned citizens who will fill City Hall Thursday are expected to have their minds on money, but for different reasons.
The Mayor and Council will be presenting a resolution to call for a bond referendum to be held on March 19, 2013, which will give the city $8 million that will go towards construction and outfitting of three new fire stations for the Canton Fire Department.
If approved, the bond will be repaid over 20 years at an interest rate of 3.25 percent. The three new stations would be at Laurel Canyon, Canton Marketplace and the Bluffs. The Bluffs station will also contain a new training facility. The construction of the facilities is projected to cost $4.1 million.
The idea of a bond may not sit well with Canton residents already concerned about the city's allegedly frivolous spending during the economic recession. Criticisms of the council's approval of $30,000 of Christmas lights and $51,000 for renovations to the Canton Theatre have drawn the ire of residents who feel the City Council is not being a good steward of public funds.
Councilman Bill Bryan has responded to critics of the city's Christmas light spending on Canton-Sixes Patch, and has produced a written rebuttal to an opinion piece in the Cherokee Tribune that criticised the new lights as a symptom of the city's inability to spend money wisely.
Councilman John Beresford will introduce a set of guidelines he hopes will reduce the discord that can sometimes result between audience members and the Mayor and Council when controversial measures are discussed during meeting.
The "Public Meeting Participation Guidelines" include the protocol on how to sign up for public comment, what topics are allowed to be discussed, how to properly speak to the Mayor and Council, and actions that are off-limits for speakers.
Recent meetings have seen Beresford lament the "backbiting" between council members and the "inappropriate" behavior of audience members during meetings.
It should be noted that Beresford's comments in regards to council members was directed at Councilman Glen Cummins for his efforts to chastise Bryan for his feud with Mayor Gene Hobgood.
The agenda for the meeting, along with the bond referendum proposal and Beresford's public comment guidelines are available in this article.
The meeting will begin at 6:00 on the third floor of City Hall.