By JUDY SHERIDAN
ANNETTA – Annetta’s city hall is now available for public use according to a 3-2 decision made by the Annetta City Council Tuesday night.
The decision comes on the heels of dissension among city leaders regarding the use of city facilities by Annetta South.
Council members Chuck Sheridan, George Ripley and Kent Stasey voted in favor of a resolution to permit other cities and community groups to use the town hall at the discretion of the mayor and city secretary. Council members Larry Wood and Bruce Moore voted against the resolution.
Authored by Mayor Bruce Pinckard, the new resolution limits the use of the town hall to groups that are willing to obtain enough insurance coverage to protect the town’s interests and that name the town as a third-party beneficiary in their insurance policy.
The resolution states that the city hall “exists to serve the public good” and also that council decisions are often influenced by the discussions of neighboring cities, community groups and other governmental subdivisions.
“The night Annetta South used this [facility] — which prompted this [resolution] — we got valuable information about a development going on in their ETJ that nearly abuts our city limits,” Pinckard told the council.
“It behooves us to keep our ears to the ground and our eyes to the horizon about what goes on in our neighboring cities,” he said. “It gives us a valuable heads-up.”
According to Annetta South city secretary Daina Lawler, Pinckard gave the Annetta South Town Council permission to meet at Annetta City Hall as a “one-time deal” to conduct the city’s regular August meeting.
Giving that permission, however, appears to conflict with the Annetta council’s unanimous directive, as cited in the minutes from the June 20 meeting.
Moore recalled the directive when he offered a resolution opposing Pinckard’s Tuesday night. His resolution would have restricted city hall use to all groups except the Town of Annetta.