Durbin pitted against former councilmember in fence issue
During a discussion about a residentﾒs fence at the Durbin council Monday night, a former councilmember alleged the council was treating him unfairly because of a grudge.
Kenneth Lehman built a chain link fence on his property in the fall and council questioned where his property line and the town right-of-way met.
Lehman said the fence is on his property line, while council believes it is on the right-of-way.
Mayor Donald Peck said he spoke to town attorney Martin Saffer who informed him that no one could own the right-of-way.
Councilmember Mike Vance said he talked with Jeremy Matheny of the Division of Highways, who advised him that the right-of-way could not be blocked.
As council prepared to vote on the issue, Lehman began to read a statement to council. He said he also spoke to the DOH and was told the fence was fine. Vance stopped Lehman and said he needed to supply council with a copy of his statement if he was going to read it aloud at a public meeting. Lehman stopped and said they were discussing the issue because of a vendetta against him since he was against Vance, a former mayor, being a councilmember.
Council told Lehman he was out of line and voted to have Saffer to proceed with the issue to have Lehman move the fence.
Lehman also questioned council when the minutes from the previous meeting were not read aloud before they were approved. Vance explained that as long as the council received copies of the minutes to review prior to the meeting, it is not required to read the minutes aloud.
Lehman filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for copies of minutes and agendas of council meetings from August 5, 2010, to February 7, 2011, and building permits he had previously requested.
In other action:
ﾕ Council discussed the Durbin Days Heritage Festival coordinator position. At the January meeting, council approved hiring Peck as the coordinator because he was the only person to submit an application. Peck explained that the ad in the newspaper gave a deadline date of January 31 instead of December 31 so council rescinded the vote to allow consideration for other applications. No one else applied and council rehired Peck as coordinator.
ﾕ Peck talked about the 4-way stop sign issue and Vance said the Division of Highways told him in order for an intersection to have a 4-way stop, at least 4,500 vehicles need to pass through it in a day. Because Durbin does not have this kind of traffic, council agreed to keep the stop signs as they are and replace the older signs. Vance said the DOH will supply the town with new signs and install them.
ﾕ Council approved the following additions to the 2011 budget: $150 a month for the mayor, $75 a month for the recorder, $25 a month for councilmembers, a three percent raise per hour per year for town employees, 40 cents a mile for travel expenses, a $2,000 line item for reimbursement of missed wages for mayor, recorder, treasurer and councilmembers and a $500 line item for lodging when a town official travels to a meeting.
ﾕ Council approved a beautification committee consisting of councilmembers John Osborne, Mike Vance, Earl Vance, Jr. and recorder Paul Ransom.
ﾕ Vance reported that the town truck committee purchased a 2002 truck for $4,000 for the town. The truck came with a snow blade and two spreaders.
ﾕ Council approved to place a phone in the garage for the town worker to use for work related calls.
ﾕ Peck reported that Region 4 is coming to town Wednesday to open bids for the energy efficiency project at the town office.
ﾕ Peck suggested to council that the locks on the town office been change because a former councilmember hasnﾒt returned his key. Councilmember Osborne told him to send a note, asking for the key to be returned within five days. If it isnﾒt returned, then council will consider new locks.
ﾕ Council approved advertising several items including metal beams, a computer, a printer and typewriter for sale. A minimum bid will be put on each item and bids will be accepted for two months.
ﾕ Council discussed getting a separate number for the fax machine. Treasurer Veronica Lane said either she or the mayor has to come to the office and turn the machine on in order to receive a fax. If the machine is left on and a fax is sent, the answering machine will pick up. In the interest of saving money, Osborne suggested they buy a new fax machine that will bypass the answering machine.