“If you put good people around you, good things are going to happen,” stated Mayor Jerry Miller at the opening of last Tuesday’s (May 8) regular meeting of the Yantis City Council.
This sentiment was the theme of the meeting, after which Miller then resigned after providing 16 years of leadership to the city. Miller is moving to Reilly Springs, hence rendering him unable to continue serving Yantis as mayor. In his resignation remarks, he commented, “It’s not a mayor and a council. To me it’s a family. I am going to miss you.”
With Miller’s strong recommendation, the council unanimously approved Councilman John D. Norris, III as the new mayor. The motion was made by Councilman Bruce Summer and seconded by Councilwoman Betty Jenkins.
In related action, the council approved Summer as mayor pro-tem, and in a motion made by Councilman Reid Gammill and seconded by Summer, approved Corey Ogle as a new councilman to fill Norris’s seat. Jenkins, Gammill and Kenneth Kincaid swore their oaths for a new term after standing for council unopposed.
Also in the May meeting, Water Department Manager David Freeman reported 97 of the planned 269 new water meters have been installed. Further installations will be slightly delayed as the next shipment of meters is on back order.
The continuing efforts to secure a new storm siren were tabled until the June council meeting, after it was announced that the Fire Department cannot afford in this year’s budget to match the city’s contribution for the purchase. This expenditure would adversely impact their firefighting capability. Miller commented that perhaps profits from the Catfish Classic could go toward purchase of a new siren.
Fire Chief Wesley Crist reported a busy month with 19 total calls, including six medical assistance calls. In addition to significant work in support of the Catfish Classic, the Fire Department conducted a vaccination clinic whereby 92 community members’ pets were safely vaccinated
The council discussed the need to draft a usage agreement for the community center. It was noted the center is very inexpensive to rent, and the manner for doing so is quite out of date. The council agreed to research and draft a usage policy.
The council also agreed to update the water service application to ensure proof of ownership is required, and property access is addressed.
Yantis High School students completed five designs for Little Free Library stations. Although teachers at Yantis schools chose the top three designs, the council agreed to pay to build all five. The first receptacle, which is to be erected at the city park, will be in honor of long-time Yantis librarian Mrs. Ponder. The council also decided to put one at the Sabine River Authority Park, as well as on Church Street.
In heartfelt remarks to outgoing Mayor Miller, City Secretary Tonya Norris highlighted some of the many accomplishments achieved under his leadership. The city park, pavilion, community center, new city hall, numerous new businesses, financial solvency, physical upgrades and an overwhelming positive momentum were among the accomplishments noted. Norris presented Miller with a plaque and gavel commenting, “Jerry will always be the mayor of Yantis.” Clearly emotional at the remarks and honor, Miller commented, “I did nothing. It takes everyone working together.”