Thomas explained that the oath of office was not to be entered into lightly but since all those on the board were not new to their position, she suspected they were well aware of the severity of the oath.
“You are a unit and you must act as one,” she said, advising the board to do all things in the best interest of the city.
“Don’t do anything to taint you, to taint your city or taint your family,” she said. “Do the best job you can.”
After taking their oath, the board members went straight to work by electing a mayor Pro Tempe or Vice Mayor.
Both aldermen Paul Janoush and Maurice Smith were nominated for the position, held by Alderman Ted Campbell for the last four years.
Alderman Kirkham Povall explained his reason for nominating Janoush was because Janoush has served on the board for almost 30 years, never serving in that position.
“I think it’s important that we rotate,” he said. “Four years ago I think I was the one who nominated Ted. It’s not a full time job like the mayor’s but it does have symbolism. Paul has served six terms (on this board). I think it was a great honor for Ted to serve and I think Maurice is certainly qualified but I do think it’s important to recognize people who have longevity on the board. That’s what guided me in my nomination.”
“We work so good together,” said Smith. “I don’t have a problem with this.”
Alderman Robert Sanders pulled his nomination of Smith from the floor and Janoush was unanimously elected Mayor Pro Tempe.
“I think this speaks volumes for this board,” said Mayor Billy Nowell. “I feel strongly this is how we ought to feel about each other.”
In other business, Police Chief Buster Bingham reported that police calls were down this quarter — April to June — compared to the same quarter last year.
Bingham suggested to the board that, because of the soon to be enacted Open Carry Gun Law, guns not be allowed on any city property, including parks.
The aldermen agreed and agreed that all the signs be uniform.
Bingham said he would call each department head and find out how many signs they would need. “They need to be done so you can see them from 10 feet away,” he said.
Although the Open Carry Gun Law was to go into effect July 1, a lawsuit is blocking its enactment. State officials expect the law block to be removed next week.
Keith Christopher with ST Environmental, which manages the city water and sewer system, said the city’s new water meter system has been delayed in going online due to discovery of some dead zones.
The dead zones prevent the radio waves from the new meters from being read.
Christopher said about 130 radio transmitters would be needed to cover the dead spots and that they needed to be put in high places.
“The higher the better,” he said.
Christopher added that once the system was active, replacement of the transmitters due to loss or destruction would be at the cost of the city.
Finally, the aldermen agreed all city employees would have Friday off in addition to the Thursday, July 4 holiday. City hall will be closed.