VIDEO: Rainsville Council “indefinitely” tables road paving discussion
June 19, 2017
Southern Torch (3918 articles)
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VIDEO: Rainsville Council “indefinitely” tables road paving discussion

PHOTO: Councilman Bejan Taheri votes “Yay” on a motion to indefinitely “table” the discussion about paving a road in the city. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor

tyler@southerntorch.com

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — (Video of the Workshop and Meeting at the Bottom) Tensions were high at tonight’s meeting of the Rainsville City Council, as Councilman Bejan Taheri moved to “indefinitely” table a discussion about paving a road where several citizens reside. That is, unless the residents fork up thousands of dollars to get the road to city specifications.

Mrs. Sonjia Pittman addressed the council in the work session (Pittman’s remarks begin at 4:15 in the Workshop). Pittman and another resident, Regina Randolph had been petitioning for their road to be paved since 2008. Seven houses currently sit on the road, which branches off from Maple Avenue. The road currently has not been adopted by the city, and does not have a name. According to the citizens, each resident payed a sum of $900 almost 10 years ago to have the road brought to specifications in order to be adopted as a city street.

When the matter was finally brought up several years later (2011), the residents were informed that the specifications had changed, and that the road no longer met the standard, such as easements and a cul-de-sac.

Pittman, frustrated by the recent approval of paving projects and accepting other new roads, was on the agenda to address the council tonight. After her remarks, frustration from the council and the citizens’ boiled over into an argument.

In the regular meeting, Taheri made a motion to “indefinitely table” any further discussion about the road. The motion passed, with Councilmen Stiefel and Freeman voting nay on the motion. Councilman Stiefel also made a separate motion to form a 3 person committee to try and find a solution to the situation. Stiefel’s motion failed to garner a second to move forward from the rest of the council.

Stiefel asked the city’s attorney, Nikki Scott if the move was legal, which she related that she would have to do some research. Legal or not, the residents of the road promised that this wasn’t the last they would hear from them.

 

Watch the Full Video of the Workshop:

Watch Full Video of the Meeting:

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

Comments

  1. Sonjia Pittman
    Sonjia Pittman June 22, 15:49
    This particular portion of Maple Ave. was brought up to city specs in 2008 after all of the residents gave $900.00 each to have this done. Residents patiently waited for the road to be paved as promised by the city. Administrations changed twice, the city changed the specs, and residents of Maple Ave. and their road fell through the cracks. Many years have passed and still our road isn't paved. Everything that was asked of the residents was done. Now no one wants us to even talk about it. Councilman Bejan Teheri said in the workshop portion of the city council meeting (Monday, June 19, 2017) that he was going to ban me and anyone else who attempts to speak to the council about our road from ever coming to another city council meeting during the next 3 1/2 years when we will have another election and elect a new mayor and city council. Here are the facts : (1) We are off of the main Maple Ave. but have always been referred to as Maple Ave. All residents of our road receive mail at their homes, we all have house numbers and mail boxes. (2) We have a city fire hydrant near the end of our road (3) We have city trash pick-up (4) We are Rainsville residents and pay taxes, just like everyone else. (5) Residents have agreed to allow a portion of their property to be used for an official cul-de-sac (6) Our road is located right in the middle of Rainsville (7) Another big subdivision is being built right across from our road. All of their roads will be paved. We will be the only unpaved road. No one on Maple Ave. knows why we have been treated so unfairly. The mere mention of our road being paved enrages Bejan Teheri, as evidence of his statement about keeping certain residents from attending city council meetings. The city attorney is checking on this to see if it is even legal for him to do that. I, personally was surprised at how angry certain council members were, with several mumbling that my addressing the city council about this has gone on for years. Well, they need to check their records and the videos of the workshops and meetings. They may be surprised to realize that I have spoken about paving our road a total of two times. We were told by members of a previous administration that all it would take to get our road paved would be for the city council to vote "yes". Our mayor, however, told us that he wasn't willing to go to prison for paving our road. Where that came from I have no idea. Now who was right ? It can't be both ways so someone has to be wrong. Also, I have heard, from several citizens that our mayor made the statement that "Hell would split wide open before our road would get paved". Where is all this anger and bitterness coming from ? I spoke to the city council during last year about all of them breaking The Sunshine Law by having clandestine meetings and phone calls with each other and making decisions, behind closed doors, instead of discussing them in the workshops before the meetings. I was told that they would check and see if they were breaking the law. Of course, that was the end of it. I got no answer back from the council. I did extensive research, before that particular meeting and I knew they were breaking the law and so did they. From my observations it seems that we have only one city council member trying to look out for Rainsville citizens and how their money is being spent. That councilman is Marshall Steifel, He is very honest and sincere about doing the best for our city. You can witness this every day. Unfortunately, I am sure, it could not be easy for him, because it appears to me, during the meetings, he is constantly fighting an uphill battle trying to do his best for all of us. During the June 19th meeting, trying to be fair to all parties, Mr. Stiefel made a motion to establish a three man committee to look into the problem of our street not being paved. His motion failed for lack of a second to his motion. It is, indeed, a sad state of affairs. I wish that more citizens in Rainsville would attend these workshops and meetings to see how our elected officials behave and how much time they spend on spending all of the city's money. $15,000.00 to repair the clock that had stopped located in the front of city hall. Does that sound reasonable to everyone ? My answer is that it is a ludicrous and irresponsible expenditure of residents money. And that is just the tip of the ice berg. Sonjia Pittman

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