Atoka City Council Meeting – City Manager Resigns
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On Monday, June 1, 2020, the Atoka City Council met at 6:00 p.m. Mayor Brian Cathey called the meeting to begin with the pledge of allegiance and invocation.
In attendance were: Mayor Brian Cathey, Vice-Mayor Diane McGee, Councilmembers, Erica Pogue, Coby Sherrill, and James Thornley, City Clerk Joye Angel, Deputy Clerk Phyllis Bates, City Treasurer Kelly Ingram, Atoka City Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) Director Carol Ervin, and City Attorney Pat Phelps.
Before the agenda began, City Attorney Pat Phelps delivered the Oath of Office to swear in Erica Pogue, Diane McGee, and Coby Sherrill as councilmembers and trustees for the council of Atoka.
The next item included the public hearing for the annexation of property into the city of Atoka.
Christopher Hankins, who owns the property adjacent to the annexation, spoke to the council about his concerns for safety. The traffic in the area does not allow for a safe turn into the property should it be developed.
Hankins asked the council to consider safety precautions and perhaps adding a turning lane. He also stated that feral hogs are a problem in that area as well.
Mayor Cathey closed the public hearing and moved onto the agenda. The council approved the city manager’s report and blanket purchases.
Ordinance number 566 passed for the annexation of property in the heavy industrial park for ACIDA. The ordinance number 567 was tabled until further research could be concluded on the safety of entering and exiting the property.
The parks project was also tabled until the bids could be gathered.
A late-comer to the meeting, Tosha Crawford spoke to the council about a peaceful protest that is scheduled for Saturday, June 6, 2020. The councilmembers expressed concern, but it was reiterated that the march was strictly peaceful.
The protestors will march from the underpass down Court Street to the courthouse and back. Mayor Cathey advised Crawford that should protestors walk in the street a parade permit would be needed.
Mayor Cathey discussed the need to remove dilapidated and abandoned structures inside city limits. The council voted to update their files on which properties would be selected from demolition, and review them once more in July.
The council moved into an executive session to discuss the resignation of city manager Jayne Hughes. Hughes plaque was noticeably missing from the seat next to the mayor.
Executive session lasted for more than an hour with the council concluding to accept the resignation and pay Hughes her accumulated vacation time.
Hughes has been the Atoka City Manager since May 2019.
Joye Angel was named as the interim City Manager, with a pay raise for the time being, until a new City Manager could be hired. The city will be accepting applications for the position until Wednesday, July 1, 2020.