2017-06-16 / News

Transportation Penny Advisory Committee doing very little for Forest Acres residents, representative reports

By Cathy Cobbs

The Forest Acres City Council heard from its new Transportation Penny Advisory Committee representative the committee is doing very little to administer the penny sales tax for Forest Acres residents, and in fact, is doing very little at all.

Jack Oliver, who is now serving as the city’s representative on the committee, said the meetings he has attended have been “interesting.”

“Several times we haven’t even had enough for a quorum,” Oliver told the council. “Most people have written it off.”

He praised his predecessor, Carol Kososki, saying her efforts had resulted in an audit of the TPAC expenditures but said that took more than a year to accomplish, and that the findings are in draft form only.

“I’ve been told once the billion dollars is spent, the money is gone,” Oliver said. “ We heard about several projects that are already running 300 to 400 percent over budget.”

The council also held a public hearing on the 2017-18 budget, with no discussion from anyone either opposing or supporting it. The budget expenditures are mainly comprised of police (43 percent), sanitation (22%), recycling (8 percent) and streets and parks (4 percent).

The council also heard from police chief Gene Sealy about the success of surveillance cameras that have been installed on Forest Drive. After two suspects on mopeds broke into a house on Laurel Springs, the cameras caught an excellent look at their faces as they sped by.

Sealy said one suspect has been identified and a name on the other one is “close.” Some of the stolen merchandise was located, and the suspects are being sought.

In other action, the council:

• Commended the A.C. Flora baseball and golf teams for their respective state championships in 2017. The teams were in attendance and received ball caps from the council.

• Postponed the swearing-in of Shell Suber and Beau Powell until the next meeting, as Powell and Mayor Frank Brunson were absent from the proceedings.

• Engaged the Birmingham Group to perform the city’s annual financial audit.

• Deferred the election of the Mayor Pro Tempore for the reasons above.

• Heard from Ralph Bailey that several of the Forest Acres city limit signs are barely visible because of overgrown weeds. “It’s time for you all to stop throwing it back in our faces that there is nothing you can do,” he said. “You need to start working with these state agencies.”

• Heard complaints from several citizens about ramshackle cars being concealed with car covers instead of being repaired or towed away. The council promised to look into the matter.

The council retired to executive session at 6:14 p.m. to discuss contractual discussions regarding the acquisition of 23 Forest Lake Place and the selection of a new judge. In attendance were Shell Suber, Ginger Dukes, and Curtis Rye.

Return to top