Town of Nolensville
Board of Mayor and Alderman Meeting
Date: November 2, 2006, Time 7:00 p.m.
Nolensville Elementary School
Mayor Tommy Dugger opened the meeting at 7:02 p.m. Members present were Mayor Dugger, Aldermen Jimmy Alexander, Joe Curtsinger, Larry Felts and Beth Weaver-Lothers. Staff present: Counsel Robert Notestine, Town Engineer Rich Woodroof and Recorder Cindy Lancaster. There were 62 citizens present.
Mr. Willis Wells led the prayer and pledge.
Mr. Aubrey Short, Rockwood Drive, noted our forefathers brought forth the Constitution approximately 200 years ago. On December 15, 1791 it was ratified with the first ten amendments. September of this year this board passed a Code of Ethics. No where in the Code of Ethics does it limit freedom of speech. On September 28, 2006, this board censored one of their fellow board members for exercising his freedom of press. Tonight this board is hearing a complaint. If a citizen files a complaint let them do so in court. If an employee has a complaint let them file it in court. Mr. Short asked the board to discontinue the bickering.
Reverend Alfred Bennett, 7286 Nolensville Road, noted that he has been in Nolensville for approximately 20 years. He has encountered some of the finest people within this time. He noted that he was here tonight to show his interest in Design Review. He noted various prestige communities that shine with Franklin, Tennessee being voted one of the ten loveliest towns in America. He stated that he was excited to have the Design Review Committee and this would assist in Nolensville’s development. He stated that only relationships of honor are going to last.
Mr. Darin Scheff, 7280 Nolensville Road, noted that he is the owner of four buildings in Nolensville. He stated that last year he was given a permit by Rich Woodroof. On opening day he was told by Don Swartz that he could not open due to sewage issues. Mr. Woodroof had approved the building. Mr. Scheff indicated disapproval of Rich Woodroof and Don Swartz behavior in dealing with the town. He noted that he has spent over $100,000 in improvements to his establishment. He stated that he has not seen any accountability with the officials and leaders of the town.
Mayor Dugger noted that he had met with Mr. Scheff. He stated that his attorney was involved. Once an attorney is involved contact must be made through the town attorney.
Ms. Nancy Kirby, 7388 Nolensville Road, stated that as the night moves forward consider developing protocol for the code of ethics complaints. Everyone will know what to expect and the process will have consistency. It will have tracking and a record will be maintained for the town. Investigate to see if other municipalities have ethics committees that reduce favoritism. She thanked the board for their service to the community.
Mr. Brad Banks, 803 Stonebrook Boulevard, noted that he is the one with the sign on the mailbox. Mr. Banks then read a letter from Engineer Woodroof in regards to the sign violation. He noted that he contacted his Alderman and would like to hear the recording versus the written version that was in the paper. He stated that he was there during the conversation and what he read in the paper was not what he heard.
Alderman Weaver-Lothers made a motion to approve the minutes from the regular meeting of October 5, 2006, Alderman Alexander seconded. Recorder Lancaster noted that in the citizen’s comment portion Ms. Parker is listed as a Republican and she is democratic and this needs to be reflected in the minutes. The minutes were unanimously approved.
Alderman Felts made a motion to approve the minutes from the special meeting of September 28, 2006. Alderman Curtsinger inquired about the language referring to Mr. Huffer. It was noted that the workshop was recorded although minutes were not taken. Mayor Dugger stated that minutes are not taken for workshops. Counsel Notestine stated that minutes do not have to be approved at this meeting. If there are major corrections the minutes could be approved at a later meeting of the board. Alderman Weaver-Lothers stated that if this is information that would be beneficial to the citizens, there is no reason why they should not be made available. Alderman Weaver-Lothers made a motion to make available minutes from the workshop of September 28, 2006, Alderman Felts seconded. This was approved by majority with Mayor Dugger, Aldermen Alexander, Felts and Weaver-Lothers for, and Alderman Curtsinger abstained. The minutes were then approved by majority with Mayor Dugger, Aldermen Alexander, Felts and Weaver-Lothers for, and Alderman Curtsinger abstained.
Mayor Dugger noted the treasurer’s report had been submitted to the board. Alderman Curtsinger asked for clarification in regards to the percentages on page four. Mayor Dugger explained the percentages to the board. Mayor Dugger made a motion to approve the treasurer’s report, Alderman Alexander seconded and this passed unanimously.
Mr. Frank Wilson reported for the Planning Commission.
· New Planning Commission Member Debbie Riddle was introduced
· Florence and Hutcheson presented report
· Bent Creek Bond set at $342,000
· Final PUD Plan on Britain Downs was approved
· Amendment to add indoor recreational in Village was approved
· Monthly Bond report was approved
· No report for this Commission
· This Saturday will be Hazardous Waste Day
· Shred Day will be on November 18
Chief Presley Hughes reported for the Nolensville Volunteer Fire Department.
· Four Volunteers completed 1st Responders Class
· Annual Fund Drive began
· Child Safety Seat installation will be at Fire Hall this Saturday at 10:00 a.m.
· 141 man hours during Fire Prevention Month
· Thanked Mom’s Club for meal
Rich Woodroof reported for the Code's Department
· 16 Residential permits issued
· 359 inspections performed
· Henry Laird has been in hospital
· A written report was submitted
· Two grants have been received
Mayor Dugger reported for the Public Works Department noting a written report was submitted to the board.
Alderman Weaver-Lothers inquired about the reflective items that were discussed at last months meeting. It was noted this is being reviewed.
Alderman Weaver-Lothers presented the Red Cross with a proclamation for 1,000 pints being donated by Nolensville citizens.
Mayor Dugger noted that a new form was submitted to the board outlining the town cash accounts, banking institutions and the current interest rate.
Public hearing for Ordinance #06-24, an ordinance to amend the zoning ordinance #04-09, in regards to design review opened at 7:56 p.m. There were no citizen’s comments and the public hearing closed at 7:56 p.m.
Second reading of ordinance #06-19, an ordinance to amend ordinance #04-09 to revise definitions pertaining to recreation, commercial and indoor uses. Counsel Notestine outlined the process of an ordinance to the audience. Engineer Woodroof noted that this ordinance will clarify definitions. Alderman Weaver-Lothers made a motion to approve this ordinance, Alderman Alexander seconded and this passed unanimously.
Second reading for Ordinance #06-21, an ordinance to amend the zoning map to rezone property currently Suburban Residential (SR) to Commercial Services (CS) with a Commercial Corridor Overlay (CCO). Mayor Dugger stated that he was involved in the sell of this property; therefore he would be recusing himself from discussion and voting. Alderman Alexander made a motion to approve this ordinance, Alderman Felts seconded.
Mr. Ken Kelley, property owner, noted that last month he had submitted to the board letters from immediate property owners. Tonight he has other letters. He distributed those letters to the board. Alderman Weaver-Lothers asked Mr. Kelley if any of the property owners behind this building show concern of the flood plain. Mr. Kelley stated that they had not. He stated that he cannot do anything in the flood plain.
Alderman Curtsinger asked Mr. Kelley when he spoke to the neighbors, what did you say to them and what did they say to you. Mr. Kelley stated that he talked to them about his intentions at that location. Alderman Curtsinger asked if any of the neighbors inquired as to if their property would be turning into commercial. Mr. Kelley stated that this did not come up in conversation. Mr. Kelley stated that this was approved previously by this board with four out of the five members. Alderman Curtsinger stated that for the record, this went through first reading only. Mr. Kelley clarified noting that it did go to the public hearing stage. Alderman Curtsinger asked Mr. Kelley if he realized that the adjacent property owners felt that if this property went commercial, their property may go commercial. Mr. Kelley was unaware.
Alderman Weaver-Lothers stated that she had one citizen concerned that a possible tattoo parlor may be in this location. Mr. Kelley stated that he has been in business for years in Nolensville and he plans to bring something nice to this area. Alderman Alexander noted at the public hearing last month, only one person was in opposition to this zoning. This was a property owner that lived ½ mile down Britain Lane.
Alderman Weaver-Lothers stated that she had spoken to citizens that were concerned with flood plain issues. She asked if there are any significant changes to this property, would it go before the town. Engineer Woodroof stated that it would per Article 5 of the zoning ordinance. He stated this section deals with the flood plain. He stated that if there was any filling in the flood plain area it would have to be approved by the Planning Commission.
Alderman Weaver-Lothers stated that looking at that area she would like to see creek and trails accessibility in the future that can contribute to the community.
Alderman Curtsinger stated that he could not understand what you can do to a house to make it look anything other than a house. He stated that if the town does not keep homes in this area it will begin to look like Metro.
Alderman Weaver-Lothers stated that this location has had commercial activity for a number of years. She did not understand this being an extreme alteration. Alderman Curtsinger stated that this is a different situation. He stated that Mr. Geary, property owner near that location, has seen water in the back of this house. A subdivision is being built near that location. You are opening this up for developers to come in and initiate commercial. Alderman Curtsinger referred to spot zoning. Alderman Alexander stated that in his opinion this was not spot zoning. This use complies with the Land Use Plan. Alderman Curtsinger stated that he felt it was opening Pandora’s Box.
Alderman Weaver-Lothers stated that she did not see how this would affect a building that already exists. She noted that if someone wanted to come it they could build a larger structure. Alderman Weaver-Lothers called for the question. This died for a lack of second.
Alderman Alexander asked Mr. Kelley if he was granted this zoning, would he build a driveway south to connect property to the south. Alderman Curtsinger stated that he did not feel this board could make that type of request for a re-zoning. Counsel stated that it would not be binding.
Alderman Felts stated that it was requested to be a Dentist office last year and the board voted for this change in zoning and it abides by our Land Use Plan. The vote was then taken with Aldermen Alexander, Felts and Weaver-Lothers for, Alderman Curtsinger against and Mayor Dugger recused.
Second reading of ordinance #06-22, an ordinance to amend Title 15, Chapter 7 and 9 of the Municipal Code regarding parking. Counsel Notestine described this ordinance. Mayor Dugger made a motion to approve this ordinance, Alderman Felts seconded. This ordinance passed unanimously on second reading.
Second reading of ordinance #06-23, an ordinance to amend Title 15, Chapter 3 of the Municipal Code regarding speed limit. Counsel Notestine explained this ordinance noting this was proposed by Chief Rigsby. Mayor Dugger made a motion to approve this ordinance, Alderman Felts seconded. This ordinance passed unanimously on second reading.
First reading of ordinance #06-25, an ordinance to amend Zoning Ordinance #04-09, in regards to permitted conditions in the Village (V) and general terms to add photographic studio. Counsel Notestine stated that this ordinance adds photo gallery to the Village zoning. Alderman Alexander made a motion to approve this ordinance, Alderman Felts seconded.
Alderman Curtsinger inquired as to the scope of photography. Engineer Woodroof asked if he was referring to adult entertainment. He stated that this is defined in a different zoning. Alderman Felts stated that this was not mentioned at the Planning Commission meeting. This Commission just wanted to allow a photographic studio in this area. Engineer Woodroof read the definition of adult entertainment. Alderman Weaver-Lothers stated that this could be discussed and changed. Alderman Curtsinger stated that he would wait until the public hearing phase of this process. First reading passed by majority with Mayor Dugger, Aldermen Alexander, Felts, and Weaver-Lothers for, and Alderman Curtsinger against.
First reading of ordinance #06-26, an ordinance to adopt a Best Management Practice (BMP) Manual, in regards to Storm Water Management. Engineer Woodroof briefly described this ordinance. Mayor Dugger made a motion to pass this ordinance, Alderman Weaver-Lothers seconded and this passed unanimously.
Reading of resolution #06-22, a resolution to enter into an agreement with Bill Hudson and Associates. Counsel Notestine noted this resolution will allow Bill Hudson and Associates to perform Public Service announcements for the State mandated MS4. Engineer Woodroof stated that this group will produce radio and television ads for publication. Mayor Dugger made a motion to approve this resolution, Alderman Felts seconded and this passed unanimously.
Mayor Dugger called for a recess at 8:40 p.m. The meeting resumed at 9:00 p.m.
Code of Ethics complaint made by citizen Ms. Sherry Knapper against Alderman Curtsinger.
Counsel Notestine stated that his position within the Code of Ethics ordinance is the ethics officer. He stated that anytime there is a complaint he performs a preliminary investigation and makes a recommendation to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. He noted that his recommendation is to either resolve it tonight or hire outside legal for further investigation. Counsel stated that there are two complaints. The first complaint is from Sherry Knapper. He stated that he received a document tonight that has him concerned. It is a letter from Ms. Knapper’s attorney. He noted that his recommendation to the board tonight would be to defer.
Alderman Weaver-Lothers stated that she would be recussing herself and is not taking a position for or against.
Mayor Dugger made a motion to defer this until the next meeting due to attorney involvement. Alderman Felts seconded. Alderman Alexander asked how this would affect the outcome tonight. Counsel Notestine stated that when an attorney submits a letter and uses the word “threat” concern levels increase. The letter mentions Alderman Curtsinger’s name and if the board continues it could jeopardize Alderman Curtsinger’s rights. He further noted that the TCA which is mentioned within the code of ethics ordinance has not been reviewed extensively. This must be taken very seriously. Attorneys take oaths and if an investigation leads to anything further, a lawyer has an obligation to inform the necessary authorities.
Alderman Curtsinger stated that for clarification, Counsel has not made a determination if this should go forward for outside investigation. Mayor Dugger stated that he did feel it should go before this board due to it being here this evening.
Alderman Curtsinger noted that Chief Rigsby’s documentation does not have a date, nor does it have his signature.
Mayor Dugger asked Counsel if this is deferred and the next violation is sent for further investigation, could the two be linked together. Counsel stated that the two could be acted upon independently or together, either way they wish.
Alderman Alexander asked if the board could ask Ms. Knappers intentions. Counsel reiterated that the board has a copy of the letter from her attorney, this is a concern. Alderman Alexander noted that counsel had received a letter from a third person. Counsel stated that he had received a letter from Ms. Lynda Moses, although he did not view this as a complaint.
The vote was taken with Alderman Curtsinger for, Mayor Dugger, Aldermen Alexander and Felts against deferring. Alderman Weaver-Lothers recused.
Alderman Alexander stated that the first decision should be if the board wishes to hire an outside attorney, or handle it in the same manner as previously.
Alderman Felts made a motion to hire an outside attorney for further investigation, Alderman Alexander seconded.
Alderman Curtsinger asked Counsel Notestine if he would be contacting TML for legal expenses incurred. This will required attorneys and depositions. He stated that he welcomed an outside attorney to make a determination. Currently there are no affidavits or signed complaints.
Counsel Notestine stated that out of respect for this board he did not perform affidavits.
The vote was then taken with Mayor Dugger, Aldermen Alexander, and Felts for, Alderman Curtsinger abstained and Alderman Weaver-Lothers recused for outside legal investigation.
Code of Ethics complaint made by Town Engineer Rich Woodroof against Alderman Curtsinger.
Counsel Notestine noted that this is a complaint made by the Town Engineer against Alderman Curtsinger. He stated that in the letter submitted to the board Mr. Woodroof mentioned the preamble portion of the Code of Ethics. Counsel noted that in the letter he submitted to the board, he advised the board that they could move forward with an investigation or to take no further action.
Alderman Weaver-Lothers noted that she is recusing herself from this and is not taking a position for or against.
Mayor Dugger asked that the recording of the phone message that was left by Alderman Curtsinger to Engineer Woodroof be played.
Alderman Curtsinger stated that he thought it was important to know that Mr. Woodroof has filed a grievance in addition to a Code of Ethics violation. By the rules he has three days. He went to Mr. Notestine initially. The three day time has lapsed.
Mayor Dugger stated that the grievance is not being heard at this time. It will be handled separately.
The recorded message was played.
Alderman Curtsinger stated that for the record the complaint says grievance and ethics. Alderman Curtsinger pointed out that in Section 11-4 of the Code of Ethics it states it must go back to the Personnel Policy, if it is an employee complaint.
Counsel Notestine read portions of the Code of Ethics.
Mayor Dugger asked Alderman Curtsinger who was “yawl” and “we”, that he mentioned in the recorded message.
Alderman Curtsinger stated that it goes down to the Town Engineer running around town and picking up signs when you have business owners who have serious issues. He stated that he wanted to hire an outside attorney to investigate this complaint.
Mayor Dugger made a motion to hire an outside attorney for further investigation, Alderman Curtsinger seconded this motion.
Alderman Alexander asked if the attorney could be one in the same that handles the previous complaint. Counsel Notestine stated that there is no reason why it could not be the same attorney.
The vote was then taken with Mayor Dugger, Aldermen Alexander, and Felts for, Alderman Curtsinger abstained and Alderman Weaver-Lothers recused. Hiring another attorney for an outside investigation was approved by majority.
The meeting adjourned at 9:57 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Approved,
Cindy Lancaster Walter T. Dugger, III
Town Recorder M