By David Howell
WATER VALLEY – Starting in February aldermen in Water Valley will meet twice a month after aldermen adopted an ordinance authorizing the second meeting.
Discussion first surfaced during the Nov. 7 meeting after Ward One Alderman Kagan Coughlin proposed adding a second monthly meeting, citing the length of the meetings when aldermen only meet once a month. Both Ward Three alderman Cinnamon Foster and Ward Four Alderman Nicole Folson were also in favor of adding the second meeting and voted to adopt the ordinance at last week’s city meeting on Dec. 5.
Ward Two Alderman Fred White voted against adding the second meeting.
“I will not be here on the third Tuesday at all. If the mayor calls me and tells me I need to be here, I will be here. If he doesn’t call, I won’t be here,” White said after voting against the ordinance.
The second meeting will be held on the third Tuesday of each month. Prior to the vote last week, Coughlin also explained that the second meeting does not change the pay rate for aldermen.
“There was some misunderstanding around the community. All of the elected officials get paid a flat fee every month. We don’t get paid more for coming to more meetings,” Coughlin reported during the meeting.
“We are not giving ourselves raises,” Ward Three Alderman Cinnamon Foster added about the $465 per month aldermen earn.
Coughlin also said the city has a contract with Crow Martin, LLC for five hours of legal work per month as the base rate for legal fees. The city pays an hourly rate for legal work from Crow Martin LLC that exceeds five hours.
“So we are not talking about spending the city’s money, we are talking about spending more of our time working for you,” Coughlin explained.