Live Oak —
The Live Oak City Council had their regular meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Live Oak City Hall. Several items were on the agenda for the evening meeting. Here is a brief rundown from the meeting.
“Use it or lose it” on hold for now
City Administrator Kerry Waldron told the council an agreement had been reached with the Live Oak Fire Union’s collective bargaining unit regarding the paid time off policy. The council voted 5-0 to accept the negotiations between the city and the union. However, discussions later in the meeting ultimately ended with the council voting 3-2 putting a moratorium on the policy referring to paid time off, known as “Use it or lose it.” Councilors Jacob Grantham and Adam Prins voted against.
Councilor John Yulee said he was concerned that department heads were restricting their employees from using their paid time off, causing them to lose their earned time if not used by Jan. 31.
Yulee recommended the policy go before a committee for a recommendation moving forward.
Waldron asked the board to consider placing a moratorium on the policy for 90 days, to give his staff and committee time to prepare a recommendation.
The motion passed 3-2.
City administrator gains power under new ordinance
With little discussion, the councilors voted 4-1 Tuesday night to pass the second and final reading of Ordinance 1347, which will give the city administrator position the authority to discipline at-will employees, excluding termination. Councilor Bennie Thomas voted against.
The ordinance changes the authority of the city administrator and allows him to discipline as needed at-will department heads up to, but excluding, termination.
If the charter review committee recommends the city manager form of government it will go on a ballot, and if the voters vote for a city manager rather than a city administrator, then the city manager would have exclusive rights to discipline.
The council had already had a similar ordinance come before them, but it failed to pass.
A charter review committee has been established and has been meeting to determine if changes to the current charter is needed. The committee has met with Mayor Sonny Nobles and the councilors to determine whether the city would benefit from having a city manager or city administrator position and will make a recommendation to the board on how to move forward. The item will be placed on the ballot next year for the people to decide if changes are needed.
The ordinance passed 4-1.
Council agrees to reduce fees for the columbarium
City council voted unanimously 5-0 to pass the final reading of Ordinance 1350 presented by Live Oak City Clerk John Gill, which would reduce the cost of the columbarium at the Live Oak Cemetery. The ordinance reduced the price of the columbarium from $1,000 to $600.
Moratorium put on Ordinance 1339
The council voted unanimously to place a moratorium on Ordinance 1339, amending section 22-7 which would limit free burial lots to veterans living within the Live Oak city limits and require those living outside the city limits to pay full price. The ordinance was voted on and passed during a final reading on July 9, 2013.
Councilor Keith Mixon brought the matter up for discussion and recommended a moratorium be placed on the ordinance until the city could sit down and discuss the matter with the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners.
“I’ve talked with three of five commissioners who said they are for paying for veterans living in Suwannee County,” Council President Adam Prins said.
Prins stated the ordinance does not restrict veterans living in the county from purchasing lots, but they could still be purchased.
The council voted to place a moratorium on the ordinance until they meet with the commissioners.