Acknowledging the recently passed state legislation that allows voters to decide whether to permit the sale of alcohol in stores on Sundays, Long County Elections Board Chairwoman Vanessa Cunningham brought up the issue Tuesday at the Ludowici City Council’s monthly meeting.
She said she wasn’t advocating either side of the issue, but she said she needed to know if the council would approve it so she could begin the process of placing it on the Nov. 8 ballot.
Currently, stores are not allowed to sell alcohol on Sundays in Ludowici.
City Councilman Frank McClelland Jr. said he did not feel comfortable deciding on the issue without first gathering input from the community.
After a brief discussion, the council decided to table the matter until its September meeting in hopes of gathering more feedback from the community.
Cunningham also requested that the council approve approximately $22,000 for the upcoming election. She said that amount is required because the city needs two voting precincts on election day. A lone precinct might be possible for future elections, she said, but two precincts are mandatory for this election.
City Clerk Tara Manning presented a report to the council regarding charges that the city’s revenue and expenditure sheets were not accurate.
At the July 12 meeting, Ludowici resident Janice Goode claimed the monthly reports were not accurate. At the same meeting, Manning said figures were entered into a computer program and automatically calculated, but she offered to meet with Goode to address her concerns.
On Tuesday, Manning told the council there was no discrepancy in the figures and that what she had been presenting was accurate. She said Goode was not reading the reports correctly and did not understand what was on them.
Manning also said the city auditor had approved of the manner in which she tallied the figures and never cited her for doing anything wrong in that regard.
She said the reports are at city hall for anyone who wants to review them.
Goode said she wasn’t questioning Manning’s intentions with the reports, but she said she stood by her statement that the clerk wasn’t tabulating the information correctly. Goode said the city had an $11,000 error in the most recent report.
She also said the city auditor couldn’t be doing his job properly if he approved Manning’s tabulations.
“I’m not too sure about him, either,” Good said of the city auditor.
Manning’s response: “I want it put in the paper,” she said. “I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m doing my job right.”
The council took no action on the matter.
In other business, the council:
• Denied a request to approve a business license for Robbie Crews. He wanted to establish a bait and tackle business on North McDonald Street, but the location is zoned as residential. The council said Crews would have to go before the Ludowici/Long County Planning and Zoning Board. After the board makes a recommendation, the council will decide on the license.
• Rescheduled the November meeting to the 15th to avoid a conflict with the Nov. 8 city election.
• Assigned Chief of Police Richard Robertson to meet with Linda Kay Futch regarding the condition of a residence she owns near Macon Street. The residence is known as “the Johnston house.” According to the council, city resident Price Chapman filed complaints claiming the property violated the nuisance ordinance due to its condition.
• Approved research regarding the installation of two emergency sirens in the city.
• Approved a raise of $50 per week for city hall employee Brenda Truman.