Feb. 6, 2013 —
Williams has yet to attend a Council meeting since he was appointed to replace now Mayor Kenny Fankell.
Meade cast an opposing vote, however, which appeared to kill the measure. Because it was prepared as an “emergency” ordinance, it required four of six votes for passage instead of a simple majority.
City Attorney George Hogg then advised the Council that they could reconsider the ordinance without the meter testing provision. All members agreed to the stipulation and the measure was then unanimously approved.
Mayor Fankell stated that the city could not send utility bills without passing a new electric rate ordinance. He expressed visible relief when the Council was finally able to agree.
Council member Angie Johnson expressed frustration with the way the meeting had unfolded.
“Now is not the time for us to allow one little portion over meter testing to prevent us from doing what we need to do to get these bills out,” Johnson said.
Callihan also took issue with Meade, saying, “He's wrong. Do you know how many people can just walk up there and say that they don't agree with their meter reading? That's why that charge is on there.”
Meade, however, feels differently about the issue, and spoke at length about his concerns in a post-meeting interview.
“It is difficult for the poor, trying to make ends meet, to come up with $50 to have their meter tested when the town is already profiting from the sale of electricity,” said Meade.
“My fellow Council members chastised me, and called this a small detail,” he continued. “In fact, there are no small details when you are looking to change business as usual in this town. I voted against the entire ordinance, until that clause was removed because no issue is too small when it can make a difference for those who have little.”
Joe Lewis can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 286-4201.