Live Oak City Council once again came to a standstill March 7 during discussions regarding the City's water and sewer rates.
After 90 minutes of discussion by Council members and staff the subject of Live Oak paying for their own water use at area parks, pools, landscaping, city bathrooms, etc., ended in a 2-2 vote with Council member Diane Hodges absent.
The first resolution of the evening, to direct staff to set aside General Fund Reserves for Water and Sewer Utility Use by the City itself died with a motion by Mayor Aleks Tica.
City Manager Jim Goodwin told Council that the vote was 2-2 at the last meeting, failing to adopt.
Councilman Jason Banks stated, "I don't see why the discussion has to be limited to the General Fund. Last time we passed over a half a million for the sewer plant. The original bid was 1.1 million."
He asked, "Why not move $600,000 to the Water Fund and pay our bills going forward. This is an alternative to what we are being proposed."
Goodwin answered that this would be an illegal recommendation.
"You cannot simply move money to the Water Fund. The Council cannot borrow from one account to another which would signify a lower account," Goodwin stated.
In other matters, Ron Slaven, Executive Director of Public Employees Union, Local 1introduced himself at the podium explaining that the union is now representing 17 individuals, employees of the City of Live Oak, the majority of the 20 full time employees. Sladen explained that the members have no personal issues with the City Manager or City Council and that they are very happy with the jobs they have.
"I think they reached out for security because they haven't had a Cost of Living Allocation (COLA) in the last 10 years," Slaven told Council members. "They have no issues, no ax to grind. You have very good employees here. We are proud to represent them," he said.
Councilman Banks thanked Slaven remarking on his respectful manner. "I appreciate you being there for the employees and I look forward to working with you."
Live Oak High Student Melissa Arredondo again approached the Council regarding a very old bike ordinance from 1965 that needs to be addressed stating that in order to ride a bicycle in the city of Live Oak they must have a license or be fined $500 or six months in jail. When Arredondo brought this up at the February 21, 2018 meeting, she stated "Not only are fines $500 but the ordinance says license plates and registration must be obtained at City Hall and rider must have metallic license plates and registration cards each year."
Councilman Banks agreed with Arredondo at that time that metallic license plates are not even available anymore and he hoped to get the ordinance updated.
At this meeting on March 7, 2018, Arredondo offered her help to update the bike ordinance, needing to make sure it was completed before the April 6 Bike Party she has planned as her Senior Project. Arredondo is looking for donations for the Helmet Bike Ride which can be gift cards, cash donations, bikes or helmets primarily. The ride will be 9.2 miles starting out the high school with 4 water stations set up along the way.
The Live Oak City Council will meet Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 6 p.m., at Live Oak City Hall.