The Richmond City Commission moved Tuesday evening to hire a “Business License Associate” who will search for unlicensed businesses.
Unlicensed businesses evade the city’s 2-percent net profits tax, and their employees do not pay the 2-percent payroll tax, officials have said.
Becky L. Randall was hired at a salary of $30,000 and would be ready to start work the next day, City Manager Jimmy Howard told the commission before the vote.
Randall was chosen from a large number of good applicants, several of whom were interviewed, Howard said. She will be supervised by city Finance Director Sharon Cain.
City Commissioner Jason Morgan voted against the hire, saying he had no objection to the candidate but was opposed to creating the position.
As part of a stepped-up effort to collect all the revenue it is due, the city commission has already hired an audit clerk to review the payments of licensed businesses.
Also Tuesday, the commission approved final reading of a revision to the city’s business-license ordinance. It allows non-profit festival promoters, including the city tourism department, to buy a single license for an event instead of requiring licenses of individual vendors. Morgan also voted against this measure.
Tourism Director Lori Murphy-Tatum reported that the city’s renamed Great American Festival and Kids Fest had a record number of vendors and perhaps its greatest visitor turnout. Inclement weather Saturday morning had cleared by mid afternoon, she said, and the weather was near-perfect on Sunday, contributing to the large number of visitors.
The commission unanimously approved three other ordinances for which it heard first reading at a called meeting one week earlier.
The city’s Sunday drink-sales ordinance was revised to clarify that restaurants licensed to serve alcoholic beverages on Sundays need not close at 9 p.m., only stop serving them at that hour.
The clarification had been requested by Tom Thilman, co-owner of Madison Garden, who also had asked that drink sales be allowed until 1 a.m., the same as the other six nights of the week.
Until the Richmond Register reported on the issue, most people in the city were unaware that drinks could not be served after 9 p.m. on Sundays, he said.
Thilman asked the commission to give a reason for not extending the hours, such as increased policing costs. Wanting downtown to “look like a ghost town” on Sunday nights also would be a reason, he said, but not a good one.
At the meeting’s conclusion, Commissioner Robert Blythe, who had voted five years earlier against allowing Sunday drink sales, said his vote to clarify the ordinance was not inconsistent with his previous vote.
Regretting that Thilman had already left the meeting, Blythe said he was unaware of any other requests, except Thilman’s, for later drink sales on Sundays. Blythe, also the pastor of a downtown church, said he resented Thilman’s assertions that “the voters deserve better” from the commission on this issue.
Other ordinances approved will:
• Require developers to include 0.8 acres of recreational green space for every eight subdivision homes or eight apartment bedrooms. Previously, only planned-unit developments (PUDs) were required to provide recreational green space, said Planning Director Jason Hart.
• Allow developers to use only letters of credit instead of performance bonds to guarantee proper completion of developments. The ordinance also would prevent companies with officers or directors who were part of a firm that had failed to comply with development regulations from starting new developments.
• Accept streets in Jergee Place and Briarwood Estates into the city’s transportation network.
The commission voted to hire Wanda Bailey as the city manager’s administrative assistant at a salary of $30,000. Bailey was chosen from 32 applicants, seven of whom were interviewed, Howard said.
In other personnel
• Accepted the resignation of Lamar Ross from the information technology department, who Howard said was leaving for a better-paying job
• Accepted the retirement of Ray Stivers, who had been employed by the parks department.
Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@
or at 624-6690.
- Local News
Man indicted in January police chase
A Madison grand jury has indicted a Richmond man in connection with a vehicle chase that resulted in the lockdown of two schools in early January.
Heroin found in card sent to jail
An investigation began Wednesday afternoon at the Madison County Detention Center when a jail employee found heroin in a piece of mail destined for a prisoner.
Back to Broadway!
Directed by Eddie Kennedy and Lisa Scully, the Berea Arena performance is a musical revue featuring talented voices performing the best-loved songs of Broadway.
Murder indictment issued in vehicular assault case
A Madison grand jury indicted a Richmond man on a murder charge Wednesday in the death of his girlfriend’s brother, who he is alleged to have struck with his car.
Jeremy D. Rice, 21, also was indicted as a second-degree persistent felony offender, according to court documents.
4,000 march, remember in Frankfort
This time the welcome was warmer; still cold, but the sun shone; and 50 years of progress were marked.
It was different, cold and rainy, and the welcome by the white establishment was just as chilly 50 years ago when 10,000 marched on the state Capitol seeking passage of a public accommodations law.
‘Fairness’ ordinance cost debated
Berea’s City Council and Mayor Steve Connelly met for two hours Tuesday afternoon to discuss proposed changes to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance.
HVAC tools reported stolen from van
A representative of Robert White Refrigeration, West Irvine Street, reported Thursday that several tools had been stolen from one of the company vehicles while it was parked at the Richmond Mall about noon Dec. 4.
Berea man blames city for flooding
North Powell Street resident Hubert Chasteen Jr. appeared Tuesday evening before the Berea City Council to address flooding on his Pinnacle Street property.
Board takes no action on softball fields
Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes made clear during a discussion about Irvine-McDowell Park at Tuesday’s park board meeting that he wants the city’s girls’ softball fields relocated to Lake Reba park.
Paula Deen coming for St. Mark benefit tea
Paula Deen, the cook, author and entrepreneur known for her southern-style food, will make a personal appearance in Lexington on Memorial Day, May 26, hosted by Richmond’s St. Mark Catholic Parish.
Deen will be the special guest for tea and conversation at the Carrick House, 312 N. Limestone St., in downtown Lexington.
“The tea will begin at the ‘proper’ time – half past 2 – and guests will enjoy a lovely afternoon featuring traditional foods, such as scones, small cakes, cookies and finger sandwiches,” said Father James Sichko, pastor of St. Mark Parish. “I think everyone will enjoy the conversation, too!”
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