Grantville City Council
Divisiveness delaying skate park
by CELIA SHORTT
Citizens in Grantville will have to wait longer for the skate park, as the project did not see any progress at Monday’s Grantville City Council meeting.
Council Member Johnny Cooks was not present for the meeting, leaving Mayor Jim Sells, council member Rochelle Jabaley, council member Selma Coty, and council member Barham Lundy to consider city business. Shortly into the meeting, the mayor walked out after a bid for fencing at Clements/ Malcolm Recreation Center was approved.
“Ms. Coty, would you please take over the meeting? I’m leaving,” Sells said as he walked out of the room.
Coty took over the meeting for several agenda items, one of which dealt with the skate park. The “Reconsideration/Substitution of Motion in regards to skate board park” had been put on the meeting agenda by Coty.
During discussion of the issue, Coty said, “This project was not fast tracked. It was in the 3-to-5-year plan from the recreation board.”
Coty reminded the council members and other attendees that the mayor had refused to sign the $99,000 contract with American Ramp Company for the skate park following a vote authorizing him to do so at the last meeting.
Sells believes that more review and due diligence, including a survey and soil test, is needed before spending almost $100,000 of the taxpayers’ money.
Because of Sells’ refusal to sign the contract, Coty had four motions to bring before the council. The first was to appoint someone other than the mayor to approve the contract due to “special circumstances.” Lundy read that motion, but it failed when it was not seconded by another city council member. The other motions were not heard after that first failed.
“There is no point in going further with the others,” Coty said.
Sells returned to the meeting during the next agenda item and voiced his frustration with the events and how they were proceeding.
“I am appalled at what is happening tonight,” Sells said. “I want to go on record and say that two people are doing things tonight that are wasting a lot of the citizens’ money. I cannot stop it. So let’s proceed.”
Later in the meeting, Coty voiced her frustration at Sells’ departure prior to the skate park project agenda item. Sells refused to talk about the project anymore.
“You bring it back, and I will leave,” he said.
The city council then decided to table the discussion on the skate park until a full council is present. At their last regular city council meeting, the mayor was late and missed the votes on the skate park project and the creation of an assistant city manager position. He planned to revisit both those issues at a later time. The assistant city manager position was not on the agenda for this meeting.