DIXIE INN – The Village of Dixie Inn has changed the day and time of their monthly meetings.
Mayor Kay Stratton said the meetings will be at 5 p.m., on the second Tuesday of each month.
“We’ve had the council meetings at night time for a number of years,” she said. “We usually have one gentleman that comes to our council meetings,
outside of the police chief, the city council members, the water man, the clerk and the mayor.”
City court was held at 6 p.m., the hour before the council meeting. In the past, there was comp time paid for one person staying for the meetings, she said.
“When I took over in January, some had asked about changing the time,” she said. “I said that’s fine, and I asked about changing the day from Monday.”
After some discussion on what day would be the best for the public – because Wednesday is church night for many, Mondays were busy, and Friday marked the beginning of the weekend – the council agreed to set the date on Tuesdays. Mayor’s Court was also moved from 6 p.m. on the second Monday of each month to 4 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.
Employees are not paid to be at the council meetings, she said. Each alderman draws a check of $350 per month, with an extra $50 if there is a special meeting.
Dixie Inn is chartered under the Lawrason Act, a state guideline that governs municipal bodies without a charter. The Lawrason Act is silent on the issue of changing dates and times of meetings, other than to stipulate that municipalities must hold a meeting each month and it be established by ordinance.
The board of aldermen, in February, unanimously agreed to amend an ordinance regarding the mayor’s pay. In the original ordinance passed in December 2008, Ordinance 112, the mayor was paid $2,000 per month “payable in two biweekly payments of $1,000 each.” The mayor was also paid an additional $50 for one special meeting each month.
Stratton said the minutes from the December meeting do not reflect what the ordinance dictates. The minutes from the December meeting reflect “$1,000 biweekly and $50 for each special meeting.”
“I’d always understood that it was $2,000 a month,” she said. “We had to make the ordinance match what the minutes said, because the ordinance did match the minutes. Had that not taken place, the previous mayor would have had to go back and pay about $14,000 back, because she would have been overpaid, according to the ordinance we had.”
Stratton said the minutes are the binding factor for the ordinance.
The extra $50 for special meetings was also removed from the amendment, so that the mayor does not get it. The board of aldermen are paid $350 per month with the extra $50 for the special meetings.
“The minutes made it ok for how the mayor was paid, but we had to get that ordinance fixed,” she said.