Sunday, June 17, 2007






  Final four for city manager post turned over to council
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–The Gun Barrel City Council members approved tighter restrictions on sex offenders.
Council members also agreed to interview the four finalists for the city manager post.
Tuesday, the city manager search committee turned over the names of the top candidates for the city manager to the council.
Council members instructed the committee to inform the finalists their names had been forwarded for council interviews during one or more executive sessions.
Each one lives within 100 miles of the city, council members heard.
“Any one of the four would make a great city manager, in our opinion,” committee chairman Curtis Webster told the council. “You’ll need to take it from here.”
The council authorized the city attorney to order background and credit reports on the finalists and provide six copies, one to each council member.
The council also passed an ordinance preventing convicted sex offenders from living within 1,500 feet of any place children gather, such as public or private schools, daycare facilities, playgrounds, public pools, video arcades and youth centers.
State law restricts convicted sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of such locations.
Those exempt from this rule are:
• those who already live within the 1,500-foot radius and have complied with all sex offender registration laws, prior to this rule’s adoption.
• those who were a minor when the crime was committed and were not convicted as an adult.
• a minor.
• those whose residence complied with the 1,500-foot rule, but later a school, playground, etc. was built within the restricted area.
Further, the ordinance makes it unlawful to rent to a sex offender if the rental unit is within 1,500 feet of a children’s gathering place.
The council has debated this subject on several occasions, having discussed a one-mile restriction.
In other business, council members:
• reappointed John Delay to the Board of Adjustments for a term to expire December, 2008, and appointed Lucille Boyd to join him on the board, with her term to expire the following year.
• appointed Charles Donley to the Planning & Zoning Commission until October, 2009.
• set a public hearing for July 10 in regard to a special-use permit for East Cedar Creek Fresh Water Supply District to install a lift station in the Arbolado subdivision.
• allocated $6,508.78 from the hotel/motel tax fund to Friends of Tom Finley Park to pay for repairs to the boat ramp.
• took no action to set a special meeting with the city’s auditing firm to outline details for a forensic audit of ECCFWSD.
• tabled consideration of animal control contracts with Henderson County Humane Society and Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake.

Sea creatures on display at Tri-County Library

Monitor Photos/Kerry Yancey
ABOVE: Young visitors get a close-up view of barnacles and starfish during a “Sail Away with Books” summer reading program presentation by the “Creature Teacher” Thursday at the Tri-County Library.

BELOW LEFT: “Creature Teacher” Robyn Wheeler holds a puffer fish, also known as a porcupine fish, explaining how when threatened by a predator, the fish swallows water to swell up and force out its spines, to make itself less desirable as a meal. Wheeler told youngsters the fish is considered a delicacy in Japan, even though parts of it are extremely poisonous. BELOW RIGHT: “Creature Teacher” Robyn Wheeler points out the different types of legs on a horseshoe crab for young library visitors.


Woman held after police standoff
Monitor Staff Reports
PAYNE SPRINGS–A nearly three-hour hostage situation Thursday morning ended peacefully with no reported injuries.
According to reports, around 6:30 a.m. Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a hostage situation call at 103 Circle Drive in the Lundy Land II subdivision, public relations officer Lt. Pat McWilliams said.
Sharon Kay Perkins, 49, was reportedly armed with a .38-caliber pistol, and threatening to harm an 80-year-old male companion. She also threatened to harm police officers if they attempted to arrest her, McWilliams said.
The sheriff’s office Tactical Unit was summoned, but the situation was resolved around 9:30 a.m. with Perkins being taken into custody, McWilliams reported.
“We’ve held her before for alcohol problems,” McWilliams noted.
McWilliams said Perkins had been transported to a local facility for a mental health evaluation. At that time (late Thursday afternoon), she had not been formally charged with any offense.
“She probably won’t be arraigned until in the (Friday) morning,” he said.

Council denies ‘dog rescue’ permit
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer

GUN BARREL CITY–After a lengthy second public hearing regarding a special use permit for Tina Hamilton to operate a limited nonprofit dog-rescue service from her Tamarack home, the mayor broke a 2-2-1 tie to deny the permit.
Brawner Hall was filled with people voicing their concerns for and against the operation Tuesday.
In favor of the special-use permit were Hamilton’s immediate neighbors and property owners living within 300 feet of her house and beyond.
They testified to the absence of noise, smells or disturbances of any kind coming from her home, located at 204 Whispering Trail.
The criteria for applying for the special permit have all been met, Hamilton said.
Those requirements are:
• limit to eight dogs on the premises (including her own four dogs) for adoption purposes only.
• her home is subject to routine inspection by the city to insure clean, safe, humane conditions.
• any one dog (excluding her pets) may stay on premises for only 30 days.
• written approval from every neighbor or property owner within 300 feet is required, and is revokable if one person within the 300 feet objects.
• records are to be kept on each animal for inspection. Before an animal is adopted out, it must be current on all its shots and be spayed or neutered.
• complaints of noise, smell, animals running loose outside the permitted area or other nuisance is subject to citation as per city code.
• repeated complaints from within the 200-foot radius can result in the permit being revoked.
Those speaking against the ordinance’s passage were concerned about insurance and dogs getting loose.
Others spoke about the possible negative effect on property values, while most felt very strongly a dog-rescue service did not belong in a residential area.
They argued the ordinance would set a precedent for other city neighborhoods, and how that would be a bad thing, instead of a good thing.
Council members Kathy Cochran and Marty Goss voted in favor of passage, while Charles Townsend and Todd Hogan voted against it.
Patsy Black abstained because she is a Tamarack resident and had previously adopted a dog from Hamilton.
Mayor Paul Eaton voted on the side of caution, killing the measure.
Hamilton immediately asked to take the issue to the voters in a referendum.
Since December, Hamilton has found homes for more than 31 dogs that were loose on the streets.
She made sure they received medical attention and were prevented from reproducing.
To date, no one has ever been harmed by any dog under her care.