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    City of Ocean Springs

    Minutes - February 6, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. Regular Meeting


    Be it remembered that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen of the City of Ocean Springs met in a Regular meeting at City Hall in the City of Ocean Springs at 6:00 p.m. on February 6, 2018.  The Mayor presiding, Aldermen Cox, Gill, Authement, Bellman, Papania, Blackman, and Impey were present.  Also present was City Clerk Shelly Ferguson and City Attorney Kevin Melchi.                     

    The Mayor called the meeting to order.

    Alderman Ken Papania gave the invocation and Mayor Dobson led the Pledge of Allegiance.


    The Mayor requested the proclamation declaring Friday, February 2, 2018 as National Wear Red Day be entered in the minutes. (Exhibit 3-b)

    The Mayor read and presented a proclamation declaring February 6, 2018 as 2017 Ocean Springs High School Large Varsity State Champions Day to Ms. Sue White. (Exhibit 3-a)

    The Mayor read and presented a proclamation declaring February 9, 2018 as Arbor Day to the Building Official, Hilliard Fountain.(Exhibit 3-c)

    The Mayor read a proclamation declaring February 2018 as American Heart Month. (Exhibit 3-d)


    Mr. Will Kline gave a presentation on his firm, The Retail Coach.  Mr. Kline stated The Retail Coach are consultants and not brokers that identifies new retail opportunities and recruits retailers.


    Motion made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Impey and unanimously carried to add the Addendum to the Agenda.


    Motion made by Alderman Authement, seconded by Alderman Cox and unanimously carried to adopt a Resolution of the City of Ocean Springs, Mississippi to Request Local and Private Legislation to Permit Golf Carts and Low-Speed Vehicles on Certain Streets. (Exhibit A-1a)

    Mr. Ronald Vincent, 1412 Government Street, came before the Board to get any updates and voice his concerns again about the noise created by CrossFit Gym.  Mr. Vincent is requesting that CrossFit follow the same guidelines as tire business across the street.  Mr. Vincent stated due to the machinery used at the tire shop they are not allowed to open for business until 8:30 a.m.  Mr. Vincent asked the Board to enforce the same rules by not allowing them to open for business at 5:30 a.m. but require them to open at 8:30 a.m. as well.

    The Mayor asked Mr. Vincent to obtain some documentation, video and/or audio recordings of the noise prior to 7:00 a.m.

    The Mayor told Mr. Vincent he will meet with the Planning & Grants Administrator along with the City Attorney to go through all the documentation and get back with him by the end of the week. (Exhibit 6-a)

    Alderman Authement updated the Board on a meeting that was held with both Pink Pawz Coalition and The Feral Feline Coalition.  Alderman Authement mentioned at the last meeting the resolution for the trap, neuter, and release program through Pink Pawz Coalition was tabled until a meeting between both groups could take place.  The Mayor, Alderman Authement, the police department including the animal control officer met with Pink Pawz Coalition and The Feral Feline Coalition.   Alderman Authement said both organizations have strengths and are trying to do a good job.  It was left up to the two organizations to decide to work together or individually.          

    Alderman Papania talked about the possibility of developing the property immediately to the east of the Ocean Springs Civic Center, behind the police department, for a dog park.  Alderman Papania stated this property is owned by the City and already has water, sewer, and lights, and plenty of parking.  It is accessible from Highway 90 and is a safe and secure location.  The park will not infringe on a residential area or a subdivision.  He also stated that during his campaigning he realized that a high percentage of citizens have dogs and was a subject that continued to come up.  Alderman Papania said it is a quality of life issue in Ocean Springs and an economic development tool that the City can use to attract people to move here.

    Motion made by Alderman Papania, seconded by Alderman Bellman and unanimously carried to move forward with looking at the property east of the Ocean Springs Civic Center, behind the police department, to develop a dog park, any equipment required, and the cost associated with it. (Exhibit 6-c)

    Mrs. Traci James thanked the Mayor and Board of Aldermen for their support and expressed the excitement of the possibility of a dog park in the City of Ocean Springs.


    Motion made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to approve the consent agenda and addendum.


    Motion made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to accept the docket of claims. (Exhibit 8-a)

    The City Clerk gave an update on the administrative changes to the travel policy.  The City Clerk stated the state is going back to requiring itemized meal receipts for per diem.  The City Clerk explained anyone who travels with a travel advance must bring back their receipts showing monies actually spent.  If they do not spend all of the monies they will be required to refund the overage amount and if the employee spends more than the allotted amount that amount is the responsibility of the employee.  (Exhibit 8-b)

    The Building Official discussed the Sprinkler Ordinance.  The Building Official stated the residential portion of the sprinkler ordinance is currently suspended for residential homes in R1.  The Building Official would like to make some changes to this portion of the ordinance and have it reinstated.  Alderman Authement suggested setting up a work session to discuss the ordinance and some of the changes that are suggested to be made. (Exhibit 8-c)  

    The Mayor asked the Public Works Director for an update on the installation of the bollards at some of the intersections down Government Street.  The Public Works Director said they started this project today.  This intersection should be completed in a few of days and he hopes that the entire project will be completed in in a couple of months.


    Dr. Bill Moore, Ward 2, reminded everyone to get their flu vaccine.  Dr. Moore said the flu shot is not just to prevent healthy people from getting the flu but to also prevent young children who are vulnerable from getting the flu. 

    Dr. Bill Moore also said Ashleigh Gaddy from the American Heart Association spoke to the Chamber of Commerce today about the Heart Walk being held in Jackson County on March 10th at Beach Park in Pascagoula from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Dr. Bill Moore spoke about the proclamation for Arbor Day that was presented to the Building Official.  Dr. Moore says the spirit of this proclamation relates to a lot of the environmental impact that we have in upper Week’s Bayou.  Dr. Moore said there are a lot of willing hands who would be more than happy to plant trees to try and reestablish a nice green space that would help prevent erosion.  The Building Official said he met with the Land Trust and Hancock Bank last week.  Hancock Bank has a program again this year where they are donating ten (10) trees to each municipality for planting.  The Building Official is working on getting a date of delivery for the trees.

    Ms. Jackie Cooper spoke against the flag and the disharmony it is creating.  Ms. Cooper came before the Board to request taking it down.


    Alderman Gill talked about how dark Ocean Springs Road is and is requesting to have a light study done from Highway 90 to the end of city limits on Ocean Springs Road.

    Motion made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to have Singing River Electric to do a light study on Ocean Springs Road from Highway 90 to Reilly Road.

    Alderman Blackman stated he is already working with Singing River Electric to get a light study on the entire east side of town, all of Ward 5 and 6.

    Alderman Impey said that the City needs to look at the future before doing this project.  Alderman Impey talked about the Ocean Spring Road expansion project that is currently on hold due to MDOT funding.  He stated the City needs to take into account the scope of the expansion project so the lights can be put in a place where they will not need to be moved in a few years.

    Alderman Gill withdrew his motion to have Singing River Electric do a light study along Ocean Springs Road from Highway 90 to Reilly Road.

    Alderman Gill talked about the waterline under Fort Bayou.   The previous administration talked about the boring project.  Alderman Gill doesn’t know if the new administration wants to move forward with this project.  Alderman Gill asked Joey Duggan and David Compton to make a presentation to the board at the next meeting on February 20, 2018.

    Alderman Gill stated he and Alderman Papania have been working on getting the inmates back.  He said they have talked to Captain Jackson at Harrison County and was told there were fifty one (51) inmates but they are all promised to other municipalities.  Alderman Gill has a call out for Jackson County Sheriff Mike Ezell but he has not heard back from him at this time.

    The Mayor stated he talked to Sheriff Ezell earlier today and it is harder than you think to get the inmates back.

    Alderman Gill talked about the Finance and HR Committees.  He stated there are a lot on new aldermen on the Board that were elected to look at and prepare the budget.  Alderman Gill feels the entire Board needs to be involved in the budget and not just three (3) of the Aldermen making all of the decisions.

    Motion made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Papania to dissolve the Finance and HR Committees. 

    Alderman Impey asked why he wants to dissolve the HR Committee.  Alderman Gill said he is on the HR Committee so he felt if he was to dissolve the Finance Committee he should also dissolve the HR Committee.

    Alderman Gill amended his motion to dissolve the Finance Committee only.

    Motion made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Papania to dissolve the Finance Committee.  The motion passed with Aldermen Gill, Authement, Bellman, Papania, and Blackman voting aye and Aldermen Cox and Impey voting nay.

    Alderman Authement said the City will not have the MDOT Youth Corp. program again this year.  Alderman Authement rode around with the landscaping department and took an inventory of all of the flower beds and five hundred (500) crepe myrtles in the median on Highway 90 that need to be trimmed.  Alderman Authement said the City needs to come up with a game plan prior to spring on how this will all be handled.

    Alderman Cox recognized the passing of Coach Pepper.

    Alderman Papania talked about some issues with the MDOT barrier on Government Street.  The residents are having issues of getting their mail and pulling into their driveway.  The Planning & Grants Administrator needs to speak with MDOT prior to making any changes to approve a solution and to verify it does not void a contractor’s warranty.

    Alderman Papania requested the Mayor to contact MDOT about getting the bridge tender house on Fort Bayou Bridge painted.

    Alderman Impey publicly sends his condolences to the family of Coach Pepper.

    Alderman Impey thanked the Parks & Recreation Director on behalf of the residents in the Trentwood Subdivision for putting up a pavilion in the park. 


    Motion made by Alderman Impey, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to go into closed session to determine the necessity of going into Executive Session.

    The City Clerk returned to the meeting and announced a motion was made by Alderman Blackman, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to remain in executive session to discuss personnel in the water department, pending litigation regarding East Beach, pending litigation regarding Sumrall, and possible contract negotiations with The Retail Coach.

    Motion made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Authement and unanimously carried to come out of closed session and back into regular session.

    Alderman Bellman discussed some issues with a member of the Civil Service Commission.  Alderman Bellman does not think this member should be in complete control and the Board should ask him to step down from his position.

    Motion made by Alderman Bellman to ask this member of the Civil Service Commission to resign.

    The City Attorney stated a finding needed to be made and then the member gets to come before the Board and plead his case before asking him to resign.

    The Mayor and the City Attorney will meet with Civil Service.

    Alderman Bellman rescinded his motion to ask for a resignation of one of the Civic Service Commissioners.

    Motion made by Alderman Gill, seconded by Alderman Blackman and unanimously carried to recess the meeting until 6:00 p.m. on February 20, 2018.

    The meeting ended at 8:54 p.m.


    /s/ Shelly Ferguson                                                   /s/ Shea Dobson

    Shelly Ferguson, City Clerk                                         Shea Dobson, Mayor

    3/7/2018                                                                 3/7/2018

    Date                                                                       Date