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Granite Shoals City Council gets lesson in chain of command

Granite Shoals City Hall

Street paving priorities turned into a lesson on chain of command for Granite Shoals City Council members at the regular meeting June 22. City Manager Jeff Looney explained the process after a brief dust-up over an agenda item requesting to hold an executive session to review Assistant City Manager Peggy Smith’s refusal to turn over a list of streets set to be paved. 

“There’s a chain of command and a flow of information,” said Looney, adding that all such requests should go straight to him, not anyone else. “Don’t hamper the city manager’s ability or the mayor’s ability to help everyone.” 

Councilor Phil Ort asked for the executive session, but Smith said no. She wanted the discussion to be held in open session, which was within her rights, City Attorney Joshua Katz said.

Ort explained his request to review Smith’s refusal, telling the council that many people in the area believe that some streets are paved based on which home construction company owner is asking or on who lives on which streets.

“I don’t believe it should be within the assistant city manager’s right to refuse to give information,” he said. “I find it not to be an act of fairness. I should not be denied that information.”

Looney noted the street paving list evolves based on a number of factor, including traffic, other work being done on the street, and funding. 

“We have a huge list of streets we’re trying to categorize,” he said. “We don’t want to have those perceptions out there.”

Mayor Will Skinner asked city staff members to explain to the council at the next meeting how decisions are made on which streets get paved. 

As for whom the council should ask for that information, Looney said those requests should go directly to him.

“For those who understand the rules and have been following the rules, it was confirmation for them,” he told DailyTrib.com after the meeting. “We gave the lists (to the council) two weeks ago, and there was a final confirmation of the streets then.” 

Katz noted that staff personnel, including the assistant city manager, city secretary, and other department heads, answer directly to the city manager.

QUARRY PARK HOURS

In other news, the council also approved changing the hours of operation at Quarry Park, home of the multi-use sports complex, from 6 a.m.-11:59 p.m. effective immediately. Looney said residents have been playing pickup games, even at night because of the lighting, and are being told to leave at 10 p.m., often disrupting contests before they are concluded. 

jfierro@thepicayune.com