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Council nods one charter change ordinance

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By CONNIE ESHThe Wilson Post

Lebanon City Council passed only one of three ordinances which would have amended the City Charter at Tuesday night’s regular meeting.

Council passed on first reading an amendment which defines of the Finance Commissioner’s duties which was accidentally left out of the charter when the position was created.

The amendment, which would have redefined the Mayor Pro Tem position as the equivalent of the state definition of the Vice Mayor, was deferred for further study.The current definition of Mayor Pro Tem doesn’t include having him/her preside at meetings in the absence of the Mayor, which the new definition would have included.

Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath expressed concerns that the definition would cause problems because the charter already includes an honorary Vice Mayor.That position is for a representative of the city appointed by the mayor for a period not to exceed 60 days.

The third amendment, a controversial one, that would have changed the process for disciplining, and/or firing city department heads was withdrawn.

Currently, department heads may only be fired with the agreement of the mayor and four council members. The amendment would have allowed five members of the council to discipline or fire department heads without the agreement of the mayor.

The council agreed to ban street corner or parking lot sales of puppies and kittens. The ordinance, which was taken off the agenda at the last regular meeting, prohibits selling or giving away dogs, cats or other domestic animals in local parking lots or other public areas, except by licensed dealers or agencies like New Leash on Life.

Warmath said part of her concern about street corner sales is that there is no one to go to if there is a problem with the animal.

She also said, “Quite often the pets are impulse buys, then when the family gets home they don’t really want the animal.”

Council also approved on second reading an ordinance to require fences on the street side of residences be no more than 4 feet tall and that the finished side of the fence face the street.

City Engineer Chuck Boyette told council that there will be a public hearing on May 5 about changes in the state definition of where the flood plain is in Lebanon. Since the definition affects what property owners may do with their property and what they will have to pay for insurance, he said anyone who may be in the flood plain should plan to attend.

They also approved the rezoning of two acres on the corner of East Market and Owen Streets owned by Habitat for Humanity of Wilson County.

In other action, council approved:

• Notifying the Tennessee Department of Transportation that the city would fund an extra lane on the corner of Hartmann Drive and West Main• Discussed changing the requirements to approve new liquor stores, to include a background check for owners• Agreed to expand Historic Lebanon Tomorrow’s banner program to include the area around the Farmer’s Market.

Staff Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at cewrites@wilsonpost.com.

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