Tribune-Courier News Editor
BENTON — Benton City Attorney Martin Johnson expressed the city’s desire to see Danny Newton reappointed to the refuse board before the Marshall Fiscal Court.
Johnson appeared to respond to comments made by Commissioner Misti Drew. Drew said she did not want to see Newton reappointed due to concerns about selling recyclable metal and white goods without a contract. Newton was a member of the refuse board before a contract was bid for the recycling. Drew said the fiscal court appointed Newton, not the city of Benton.
Judge-Executive Mike Miller said Newton was a city appointment.
“I’m here at the request of the mayor,” Johnson said. “We’ve reviewed our records and from 1968 on, the city has appointed someone to the refuse board. Someone may have served on the board for 7 or 8 years, but was inattention on our part. This is a position we feel entitled to because we pay the tax.”
Benton Mayor Steve Cary sent a letter to Miller recommending Newton for the post.
Miller said Newton and Charles Edwards would remain on the refuse board until the Fiscal Court appointed a successor. Miller also announced the resignation from the board by Galen Edwards. Miller read a letter citing declining health for the resignation.
Commissioners met in executive session to discuss the hiring of an independent council to represent the county in an investigation of the refuse board. County Attorney Jeff Edwards recused himself from the board as his father is Galen Edwards. Commissioners took no action in hiring an attorney.
In the executive session, commissioners also discussed severance pay for former park mowing contractor Trent Frizzell. The court terminated its contract with Frizzell after parks director Larry Whitt said park lawns remained uncut in a timely fashion.
“We’re not of the opinion we owe anything,” Miller said. “If he wants, he may come before the court and make a case for his claim.”
Bob Johnston, of the Marshall County Cemetery Board, addressed the court and told commissioners his board is out of funds for maintaining cemeteries throughout the county. He said the board has paid to clean hundreds of cemeteries since it was founded.
Miller said if money was found through the year, it would be provided to the board for additional maintenance.
Johnson told commissioners the former Fleetwood Mobile Home building was nearly free of bankruptcy encumbrance. He was hopeful the city could acquire the building.
“We haven’t been able to market the building while it’s in bankruptcy,” Miller said. “We’ve had a number of people express interest, but haven’t been able to make an offer.”