New edition of Burnside City Council eases into 2013
By CHRIS HARRIS, CJ Staff Writer Commonwealth Journal
Though the City of Burnside saw some contentious moments in the calendar year 2012, the new edition of the town’s city council managed to ease into 2013 with a peaceful but productive meeting.
One ordinance was passed and two more introduced, shoring of some city policies and even bringing some new territory into Burnside — even if the fact that it wasn’t already part of “the only town on Lake Cumberland” might come as a surprise to some people.
The meeting was most notable, however, as it was the first for the two new councilors elected this past November. Bill Leslie, a longtime real estate man in the Burnside area, and Susi Brooks Lawson, a woman with a very familiar name in Burnside politics.
Leslie is known as an agent with Key Associates Waterfront Real Estate and president of the Real Estate Association. He feels as though his background in that industry could help him be more knowledgeable on certain issues the council may address.
“I enjoyed it very much; I was happy to be here,” said Leslie. “It’s going to be a busy for me, between the council and real estate.”
Lawson has had a number of relatives participate in the city council of her hometown of Burnside — her grandfather, mother, and of course her father, former Burnside mayor Jim Brooks. As such, Lawson seemed right at home in the council chambers.
“It was short so it was a really nice meeting,” she said. “I read through the packet (provided to councilors before the meeting) and knew what was going on, and it was much more relaxed than I thought. I really enjoyed it.”
Lawson said she expected her family background to help her in her new role — “I can always call (her father) and ask questions,” she said. “He can be my reference point.”
The two rookies joined returnees Lula Jean Burton, Willis Eadens, Joyce Gregory, and Dwayne Sellers for Monday’s meeting, and in voting to pass ordinance an ordinance relating to the town’s New Year’s Eve hours.
The town’s previous alcohol ordinance allowed New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day sales of alcohol on a Sunday if either of those holidays fell on that day of the week — normally, it wasn’t legal to buy alcohol in Burnside on a Sunday.
The ordinance now says that adult beverages may be sold after 11 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, rather than 1 p.m.; Mayor Ron Jones noted that the city “doesn’t need the ordinance now because he have Sunday sales,” but it was amended to allow for the change in schedule anyway.
So far, Sully’s is the only restaurant in Burnside which has obtained its Sunday service license, said Jones.
The ordinance, no. 410.0d, passed unanimously.
Two additional ordinances were introduced and given first readings (on which no official vote is taken). One gave city employees additional paid holidays that qualify for time off, to get more in line with what federal and state government levels offer.
Those holidays include Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, Presidential Election Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and half a day for Good Friday, which is two days before Easter.
While police and fire department employees are excepted from this, in lieu of holidays, Burnside Police Department personnel are to be credited with 10.5 shift of holiday leave with full pay at the beginning of each calendar year to be taken during that year. Presidential election years offer one additional such hour.
The ordinance introduced would annex the area north of Pitman Creek, east of Lake Cumberland, and west of U.S. 27, essentially located behind the Stonebrook Pavilion-area businesses.
Jones described the area as “where Lakeview Drive runs behind Guthrie’s River House, to where it comes back on U.S. 27 at Pitman Creek,” an area with about 150 homes and several businesses.
“Everyone over there thinks it’s in Burnside (as it is),” said Jones. “You’ve got city on the back side of it, city on the other side. It’s a triangular-shaped section of ground that we pretty much cover anyhow.”
Jones said the appeal for the city is additional tax revenue, and the city taxes would be offset by a reduction in insurance premiums for those annexed in.
“It’s been talked about ever since I cam remember,” said Jones. “Everyone thought it was part of Burnside on the lake and all that, but it just never did get brought in.”