BY DAVID FISHER
GREENFIELD (September 8) — The Greenfield Board of Mayor and Aldermen discussed several important issues when it met Tuesday, September 15, including the status of a criminal case against a fellow board member, internet coverage of meetings and revising the city’s fireworks ordinance.
Greenfield City Attorney Beau Pemberton said, “If you do not already know, one of our board members, Thomas Tansil, Jr., has been indicted by a Carroll County Grand Jury on a four-count indictment, including counts of felony theft and official misconduct. Mr. Tansil has entered an initial plea of not guilty in Carroll County Circuit Court. He has been assigned a court date to report back the 13th of November for further proceedings.” Pemberton stated Steve Crump, Attorney General for the 10th District in Bradley County, is prosecuting the case.
“Mr. Tansil is still an elected alderman at this point, and our charter says in Section 10, unless there is a conviction of malfeasance or misfeasance in office, a felony or crime involving moral turpitude or other things, the board cannot declare a vacancy,” Pemberton said. “So, irrespective of what personal opinions may be, he is still very much a member of this board and retains full voting privileges to the extent he wishes to serve as an alderman. Obviously, he is not here tonight.”
Pemberton stated unless Tansil pleads guilty or is convicted at a trial with a jury or judge, he still maintains his privileges. “He will continue to serve on the board until his case is disposed of.”
Alderman James Roy Pope stated, even after the COVID-19 epidemic is brought under control, all future meetings should continue to be aired over the internet for the public’s convenience, especially for those unable to attend in person.
Aldermen Mike Caudle and Bobby Morris and other board members were in agreement, citing the need to consider the safety of the elderly, both during and after during the pandemic. The aldermen noted, older seniors may find it difficult to attend the meetings in person, due to health concerns and physical limitations, and the internet is a convenient way for them to keep up with what’s going on in their community.
It was mentioned the cities of Dresden and Martin are currently exclusively on-line, while the cities of Gleason and Sharon are held in-person only.
If approved, the City of Greenfield will continue to hold online and in-person meetings in the future.
At the request of Alderman Pope, the issue will be placed on next month’s agenda for the board’s consideration.
Greenfield Board meetings may be viewed on the city’s Facebook page as follows: https://www.facebook.com/CityofGreenfieldTN/
During discussion of a revised fireworks ordinance crafted during recent meetings, which was ready to be brought to a vote Tuesday night, several board members suggested changing the dates once again, based on input from local citizens. Noise generated by shooting fireworks was one of the main complaints voiced by local residents.
Different dates were considered, but the board finally settled on amending the City’s fireworks ordinance to stipulate the only dates fireworks may be set off are July 1st through the 7th; December 25th, 30th and 31st; and January 1st and 2nd. The dates of June 20th through the 30th, which were allowed in the previous ordinance were eliminated. The use of fireworks is not allowed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 9 a.m. on the approved dates.
A written permit from the City of Greenfield is required to shoot fireworks at any other time.
The board approved the revised fireworks ordinance by a vote of 5-2, with seven members present.
Pemberton reminded board members, since the dates are different from the ordinance already drafted, the changes must be made and resubmitted in a new ordinance reflecting those changes.
Board members must now approve the revised fireworks ordinance during three consecutive meetings and a public hearing must be held before it goes into effect.
Greenfield Fire Chief Bob Dudley, who also serves as the city’s code enforcement officer, stated Dustin McCartney of Bradford, Tennessee, submitted the low bid of $1,600 for removing the structures on the Jackson property, located on East Main Street, and filling it in with dirt. The board unanimously approved the low bid, as recommended by Dudley.
“We have four other pieces of properties we’re looking at cleaning up in the next couple of months,” Dudley said. “Some are in the process of being torn down and others are being redone. If we have to go in and clean them up, we’ll take out a lien against the property to get our money back for the cleanup.”
Public Works Director Tony Stout announced the city advertised for bids to pave certain streets. He noted, Public Works employees recently replaced culverts in preparation for the paving work.
Police Chief Joey Radford said, “In light of some of the events involving law enforcement around the country, Gov. Bill Lee has requested law enforcement agencies in Tennessee review and revise their use of force and duty to intervene policies.” Chief Radford said he wants the board to revise existing police department policies regarding the use of firearms, intervening and use of deadly force. “I have provided our city attorney with a copy of these new policies. Upon his approval, I’ll ask the board adopt these policies.”
City Attorney Pemberton said he has already reviewed these policies and it outlines when the use of physical and/or deadly force is necessary in the performance of official law enforcement duties. The intervene policy deals with when to intervene and report improper and/or unlawful acts.
“I recommend approval,” Pemberton said.
However, since board members did not receive a copy of the proposed policy revisions prior to the meeting and have not had a chance to review them, they agreed to place the matter on next month’s agenda and consider making revisions at that time.
Board members appointed Mary Alley Smithson to serve as a member of the Dr. Nathan Porter Library Board of Trustees, to fill a vacancy created by the departure of Barbara Akin.
In the Parks and Recreation report, alderman Bobby Morris stated the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Board is meeting soon to discuss building restrooms at Callins Field. A part of the discussion will involve using volunteers to cut down on construction costs.
Pemberton informed the board he has reached a tentative agreement with Mobile P.C. Guys reducing the internet rate charged to local senior citizens.
Mayor Cindy McAdams stated the local sales tax receipts for August are $25,665.37 and state sales taxes total is $18,324.53. This represents a decrease of $71.07 in local sales taxes and an increase of $1,370.85 in state sales taxes. Total sales taxes for August were $43,989.90, which is $1,441.92 more than the previous month.
“It looks like we’re holding our own and doing pretty good,” Mayor McAdams said.
Mayor McAdams announced Mike and Melinda Randolph of 665 Hillsboro Drive were presented the Yard of the Month Award.
The next board meeting is Tuesday, October 13, beginning at 5:30 p.m.