HAMLET – The monthly meeting for the Hamlet City Council was held in the chamber of the administration building at 201 Main Street on Tuesday, December 12, from 7 to 8 p.m.
Five of the six members were present as Mayor Bill Bayless called the session to order. Following the invocation, adoption was made of the current agenda and the minutes from the November meeting.
Next was the time for “comments from attendees,” and a young Hamlet citizen stepped forward to the lecturn. Jaiden Tillman, a 14-year-old ninth grader, eloquently proceeded to offer his insight and observations as a concerned member of his community.
Tillman commended the Council for their role in the razing of a condemned house near his home, noting that such an action resulted in great improvement for the neighborhood. He also requested that consideration be rendered in conjunction with the possible trimming and/or cutting of some trees in the area, noting particular issues that remain because of this foliage.
The Council members congratulated Tillman on his community spirit and the fortitude required to come before the city’s governing body, regardless of the reason for such a venture.
Councilman Jessie McQueen was particularly impressed, as was Mayor Pro-Tem Jonathan Buie. McQueen commended Tillman directly, as did Buie, in regard to his maturity and spirit.
Subsequent to the comments by Tillman, the Council proceeded to address the auditor’s report regarding the financial standing of the City.
Accountant Ken Anderson offered a relatively glowing report on the City’s status, noting that all is as it should be moneywise. Buie was particularly glad to hear such news, commenting on all that had been done in 2017 and voicing his satisfaction in knowing that the City of Hamlet is sound in its holdings.
“With Hamlet being such a small town, and yet able to do so many things and still stay under budget, that says a lot about how much our employees do to save this city money,” Buie said.
Formal swearing-in ceremonies for the re-elected members of the Council were then conducted. City Clerk Tammy Kirkley presided over each of the four (Bayless, Martin, McQueen and Buie), who were re-elected or re-appointed to their respective seats.
Current staff members were then recognized. The city manager, city attorney, and city clerk were each likewise re-appointed to their respective positions by the Council, who then congratulated and commended each of them for a job well done in 2017.
Just prior to the Council’s adjournment for the evening, Buie ensured that city employees would have tangible evidence of the Council’s appreciation for their efforts. He motioned for a $100 Christmas bonus gift card for each employee of the City of Hamlet.
After some discussion regarding the tax that might be applied to such a gift, it was decided that an additional $10 would be added as a means of ensuring that each employee will receive the full $100 (actually $101.72, after taxes, according, indirectly, to Finance Officer Jill Dickens).
The Council was unanimous in its approval of this gesture of holiday good will and appreciation for the city employees and all of their hard work throughout 2017.