CLOVERDALE -- Everybody's welcome at Cloverdale Town Council meetings -- just don't stay too long.
The council unanimously passed an ordinance Tuesday night that would require members of the public to leave town hall after official meetings adjourn as quickly as practical -- or in about 15 minutes. The fine for staying longer -- up to $2,500 for the first offense.
The council also introduced a complaint policy ordinance that would require all complaints about town employees to be submitted in writing and include the complainant's name. Complaints that contain foul, derogatory or abusive language would be given less weight, under the ordinance. The council must pass the ordinance at its regular meeting next month in order for it to be enacted.
Council members also approved a preadoption of the $661,000 budget for 2008. The council can still shuffle funds around at their 7 p.m. Aug. 28 special meeting. Final approval of the budget is slated for the Sept. 11 regular meeting.
The council approved a number of routine payments for operating expenses, including $267,000 for the fourth installment of the bill for the new sewage plant.
Council member Judy Whitaker took exception to a $3,400 bill from Town Attorney Allan Yackey. She suggested paying only $600 while the council looks into the rest of the expenses.
"These are excessive amounts month after month," she said.
Yackey sat just two seats away from Whitaker at the town council table.
The move ultimately fell, though, as the council voted 3-2 to pay the full amount. Council member John Davis was the other dissenter.
The council also voted 3-2 to sell the town's three fire trucks. Whitaker and Davis dissented on the grounds that they were part of an ongoing lawsuit against the town. Yackey said selling the equipment would not complicate matters in the lawsuit.
The board also made an initial approval of an ordinance that would ban deadly weapons in town hall. Law enforcement officers, judges and representatives from the prosecutor's office would be exempt, though members of the public with concealed carry permits would not be.
Finally, the council cut down political barriers on the park board, removing wording from the ordinance that barred more than three members of any one political party from sitting on the board.
The change comes, according to the ordinance, because in a small town like Cloverdale, it's hard enough to find people to serve on the board as it is.
The Cloverdale Town Council regularly meets at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.