The City of Pinehurst canvassed the results from this month’s municipal election on Tuesday night. The City Council got a new member and a full time city administrator during its meeting.
The council approved naming previously interim City Administrator Jerry Hood to the position full-time.
Hood was named the interim City Administrator in June. In the last month Hood had informed Pinehurst that circumstances were making it impossible for him to perform the duties in the full-time position.
Those circumstances have changed, and Hood accepted the position of City Administrator following a closed-door session with the council. Jerry Hood is excited to follow his brother Robbie in guiding the City of Pinehurst as the new City Administrator. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to continue working for the city and the citizens of Pinehurst and look forward to several years with them,” Hood expressed.
Mayor Dan Mohon, Alderman Dr. Michael Shahan, and Alderwoman Cynthia Adams were given their oaths of office. Joining the council is longtime Pinehurst resident Greg Willis. Mayor Pro Tem T. W. Permenter nominated Willis to fill the position on the council previously held by John Zerko who did not seek another term after years of service in Pinehurst.
City Secretary Debbie Cormier explained that Janet Renee Batt had actually filed to be on the ballot when the election was to be held in May. In August after the election was postponed until November, Batt informed Cormier she would need to withdraw her name from the ballot since she was moving out of Pinehurst. Cormier contacted the Texas Secretary of State’s legal department which oversees local elections, and she was informed that Pinehurst could not add a new candidate on the ballot. Instead the State said the best action would be to appoint an Alderperson after the results were certified, which was done Tuesday night.
Willis will serve on the City Council through the next municipal election in May 2021. At that point Willis can file to be elected to a one-year term which would run until the 2022 election when the position would be open for a full two-year term.
A public hearing was conducted during the meeting concerning the condemnation of a property at 3490 Pelican Street. Code Enforcement Officer Harry Vine testified during the hearing about the dilapidated condition of the structure which has been an issue for the last three years.
Vine asked the council for their recommendations of giving the owner of the property an adequate amount of time to repair the former home. Permenter lives across the street from the property and gave his recommendation on how long to wait before the city demolished it as one week.
A list of 12 items needing attention by the owner Michael Jiron Edwards was presented by Vine to the council. The council approved giving Edwards 90 days to repair the structure before pursing demolition of it. The vote was 4 to 1 with only Permenter opposing the 90 days.
In a similar situation Vine recommended the City of Pinehurst file a lien on the property at #6 Harding. The property has been sub-standard since 2014 when it was condemned in 2014 pending improvements by the then owner. Probate issues since then have made it difficult for Vine to determine the actual owner now.
By filing a lien for the amount of $1,560 which is owed to the city for mowing and other expenses to maintain the property would then allow Pinehurst to foreclose on the property to receive the property’s title. The city could then sell the property to cover all of its expenses.
Legal fees to file a lien against the property would be about $3,500 and paying the back taxes would cost Pinehurst about $2,967 which would give Pinehurst control of the property. The property’s appraised value is about $43,000, and it is located in a good neighborhood. The City Council unanimously approved Vine to proceed with filing the lien.
The meeting began with Nestor Barreota of Schaumburg & Polk giving an update on the $6.8 million mitigation project funded by the General Land Office. Barroeta said the work is on schedule to be completed by the planned April 2022 deadline.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-