Rebuilding Vidette

The Vidette City Council meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m.

The Vidette City Council meets on the third Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m.

The City of Vidette is looking for two residents to fill the seats vacated by Councilman Waylon White and currently held by Mayor Pro Tempore Michael Pollex.

During the rescheduled council meeting May 25, the panel announced that anyone wishing to fill the seats should contact them prior to next month’s meeting. According to City Attorney Chris Dube, the city charter allows the council to appoint new members when there are vacant seats. The charter also allows the council to select a new mayor to finish out Rosemary Baughman’s term. Baughman announced her resignation effective May 18.

Appointing Pollex to the mayoral position was tabled after Councilwoman Samantha Williams objected to Pollex and his wife Monalisa both serving on the panel. Williams also threatened initially to refuse to vote on SPLOST V projects, due to be delivered to the county just days after the meeting took place, putting the city at risk of losing $194,400 in funding.

“There is no conflict of interest because of husband and wife serving on the same council,” Dube informed her. “There are many cities around the area that have that same set up.”

With Dube’s urging, the panel voted on how to apply their share of the revenue generated by the 1-cent sales tax. They approved $85,000 to be applied toward capital improvements to the water system, $54,000 to renovating the City Hall and $55,400 to recreation and beautification projects. The panel discussed adding a covered picnic area, water fountains, benches, a walking path and playground equipment to the city park.

A local city clerk has been hired to get the Vidette City Hall set up with a billing and tracking system designed to handle residents’ water bill accounts.

“We want to make sure we rebuild Vidette the right way,” Dube said and estimated that the process would take approximately a year. “By then your financials should be in order. We should actually have a real budget.”

After years of chaotic management practices, the former administration left the city with no way to track water bill accounts. The city hall building requires many renovations before it can accommodate a clerk who can oversee city-related operations. Basically, the panel is rebuilding the city’s government from scratch.

“We have customers with account balances that we are not even sure what they are, and that’s a problem,” Dube said. “We have to build the skeleton and then we will start putting the meat on the outside, but we have to build the skeleton first. The skeleton is the clerk’s office so that we know what the numbers are, we know where the records are, we know where the minutes are.”

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