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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

End of an era

Steele conducts final council meeting as mayor

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

Members of the Grayson City Council, city staff, and various city departments said farewell to Grayson Mayor George Steele on Wednesday during his final regular meeting with council before mayor elect Troy Combs takes over those duties after the start of the new year.

Steele, who is retiring after serving for 16 years as mayor, opened the meeting by jumping ahead in the agenda to the approval of the Utility Commission Board appointments. After council approved the appointment of those initial board members, who will serve anywhere from a year to three years to start in order to create staggered terms, Steele moved on to the approval of meeting minutes.

Council had minutes to approve from three special meetings and one regular meeting, between September 19 and November 10. Council moved to approve all of those meeting minutes except one.

Mayor elect Combs, in his final regular meeting as a council member, questioned the language in the minutes relating to a promise for library funding. Combs, specifically, questioned whether that approval was dependent on the availability of funding alone, or whether it was also tied to and contingent on the approval of funding by the Olive Hill city council.

That funding would have gone toward payroll for a second employee of the Grayson library branch.

Council moved to table approval of that set of meeting minutes until the audio of the meeting could be reviewed.

During department reports code enforcement reported on ongoing action with a property on Kibbey Street. The city already has a lien on the property, code enforcement officer Joe Hammer told council. He said that they were moving forward with further legal action and enforcement, city attorney Jason Greer added, was “in the pipeline.”

During the fire report the department asked for permission to use funds obtained from payment received from a recent accident response for the purchase of a new ice machine, which council approved.

The department also asked to surplus a vehicle instead of repairing it. The 2006 Ford Expedition command vehicle needs a new transmission, the department said. Instead of repairing the 16-year-old vehicle, the department said, they would like to put it up for sale. Council also moved to approve that request.

After concluding their report, the fire department presented Mayor Steele with a plaque, in thanks for his time serving as mayor and his support of the fire department and other first responders during his tenure.

“I’ve had the easy part,” Steele said. “They (the fire department) do the hard part down there, every day.”

Steele also thanked the other members of council and city employees for their kind words and support during his time in office.

“It’s been a pleasure working with these people for the last 16 years,” Steele said. “Not just the council, but everyone.”

In other action council moved to approve payment of a cost of living adjustment for full time, part time, and fire department volunteers before Steele struck the gavel, adjourning the final meeting of his term.

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com



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