SPSA appointment among council decisions Monday

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 14, 2008

FRANKLIN—The City Council will meet Monday in closed session to discuss appointments to boards and commissions, a new contract for the city’s attorney, and a possible sale of the Hayden School property.

Among the appointments expected to be discussed is the city’s representation on the Southeastern Public Service Authority board.

Former Councilman Charles Wrenn, who lost his re-election bid in May, currently represents Franklin on the board of the regional waste agency. At a meeting last month, City Council members discussed keeping Wrenn on the SPSA board so he could fulfill his upcoming term as chairman.

A majority of the outgoing council expressed support for Wrenn, who said he would step aside if newly elected officials objected.

New Councilman Benny Burgess, who defeated Wrenn for the council’s Ward 2 seat, declined comment Friday when asked about Monday’s closed session.

Wrenn, who said two weeks ago that he expected to continue serving on the SPSA board, said Friday he had &uot;no idea&uot; whether he will be reappointed by the new council.

Under the plan discussed by the outgoing council last month, Wrenn would remain the city’s delegate on the SPSA board and council newcomer Barry Cheatham would become his alternate.

Cheatham would only vote in the absence of Wrenn.

Wrenn said he was &uot;disappointed that there was nothing in the newspaper about why&uot; he would continue to serve.

&uot;This isn’t something I pursued,&uot; he said. &uot;The (SPSA) board requested that I serve, for one, because I was in line to be chairman, and because some of these issues on the table I’ve been in the middle of all along.&uot;

He said the SPSA board believed it was in the best interest of everyone if he stayed on since he had experience with those issues.

Citing a www.thetidewaternews.com poll in which a majority of respondents opposed his continued service with SPSA and a letter to the editor in Friday’s edition expressing opposition, Wrenn complained that &uot;no one bothered

to ask why&uot; he wanted to continue serving.

The SPSA board and executive committee sent a letter to Mayor Jim Councill requesting Wrenn’s continued service.

&uot;All members of the City Council know both sides of it,&uot; Wrenn said. &uot;If they see fit to appoint me, I will serve out the two years as chair.&uot;

Also on Monday’s closed-session agenda is the possible sale of the city-owned Hayden School, which is vacant and deteriorating.

According to City Manager Bucky Taylor, discussions are continuing regarding an offer from the Hayden Group, which has proposed renovating the building to house the STOP organization, adult day care and some offices.

Members of the Hayden Group couldn’t be reached by press time for comment.

The employment contract for the city attorney will also be talked about behind closed doors.

A council evaluation of City Attorney H. Taylor Williams IV at the end of June was favorable, according to the mayor. Williams’ contract expired June 30.

A work session regarding organizational matters is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with closed session following.

The regular meeting gets under way at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers in City Hall. The agenda includes the reappointment of Johnetta Nichols as Ward 3 representative on the Franklin City School Board.