Sulphur Springs City Council approved a measure that will pursue 12-hour shifts for police patrol officers in the city, approve rezoning at 876 Camp Street, and hear a local citizen in Public Forum.
The request to the council came as City Staff sought direction from council regarding the change. Chief of Police Jay Sanders says this change will enable the city to continue to recruit quality officers. He said the first question asked of him during interviews with candidates reflects their desire to work the 12-hour rotations. According to City Manager Marc Maxwell, said the change will involve a number of changes. Personnel policy will be changed to reflect wording regarding an two week 80 hour schedule. He stated officers will work no more than three days in a row but will work 80 hours in two weeks. References to overtime and work week will be reflected in the police human resource policy. No change in number of personnel will take place. Any new hires made currently are to replace any changes in staff. The 12-hour shifts for patrol officers should begin around July 1, 2018 after all Human Resource policy changes are made.
Property at 876 Camp street rezoning from Light to Commercial to Single Family Attached was approved. The change in the property will allow the building of a four-plex housing unit at the location.
James Tully, who lives on Mockingbird Lane in Sulphur Springs, addressed the council regarding questions concerning council members paying their property taxes. By law, council could not respond to the statements made in Public Forum. In a personal interview with Tully Thursday morning in KSST News office, he said that he had Googled the information regarding all candidates in the city council race. He noted that all candidates had paid their city property taxes but that county and school taxes were not all paid. He would not identify the candidates that had not paid county or school taxes but said that he thought it a matter of personal responsibility and person pride that one would desire all taxes paid. He said he knew that mistakes can happen and some things can be late. However, he wanted to let the community know to research the past of all candidates for the office and those who are in place on the council. He stated his love for the city of Sulphur Springs and the desire for the city to continue to be a great place to live.
Any sitting council member and anyone seeking a seat on the council during an election must be current on personal and business city property taxes. According to records, all council members are current on city taxes.
However, Tully is not the only one who has raised the question regarding paid taxes. Wednesday, in a call to KSST News from Martin C. Brown, President of Double Insanity Investments, LLC and owner of a building on Main Street, accusations were made that two council members had not paid their county and/or school taxes. Brown referenced the Hopkins County Appraisal District Chief Appraiser as his source of information. In a Thursday morning call to the Chief Appraiser, KSST News was told that she did not know if taxes had or had not been paid because that is not a duty of her office. The Chief Appraiser stated to KSST that she had been told by Brown that the taxes had not been paid and that a candidate for city council had told him the information. She said she did not follow up on the call because she didn’t think it to be true.
There are three Council Places on the May 5th ballot. Campaigning for the three seats is expected to heat up as Election Day nears.