Former Berea City Administrator Randy Stone was honored twice Tuesday night during a meeting of the Berea City Council. Stone was presented with the C.C. Hensley Distinguished Service Award, commonly known as the Red Tie Award, which is given in remembrance of the late Mayor Clint Hensley.
Mayor Bruce Fraley said Stone is most deserving of the honor because he dedicated much of his life to making Berea a better place. "With 22 years of service as city administrator, plus additional service on our planning commission and as a city council member, Randy Stone has made a significant, positive and lasting impact on our city. He is both an outstanding manager and leader."
The tie was weaved by the Berea College Student Crafts Program. Stone retires from the city at the end of September. The award was actually the second honor Stone received at the meeting, which will be his last as an employee of the city. Earlier in the meeting, members of the Glades Christian Church presented Stone with a quilt depicting a country scene featuring an old Chevy truck.
"I have had an enormous pleasure for the last 22 years of serving the citizens of this town," Stone responded. "Of serving all three mayors, beginning with Mayor Kerby, who I can't thank enough. Mayor Connelly and the support he gave to me and to the staff and the direction he gave us, and it's been a pleasure, Bruce, for the last 10 months to serve."
In closing, Stone referenced an earlier presentation in which Berea Municipal Utilities Director Kevin Howard noted the city had invested over $32 million over the last decade in electric, water and sewer infrastructure. "Things like that should make us all proud of being the servant leaders of this community, and of what we've accomplished. Thank you all."
Before he left the podium, Council member Ronnie Terrill, who often disagreed with Stone, wished the outgoing city administrator well, but said Stone hadn't seen the last of him. "Randy, I know where you live, and I may drop by to visit you just to argue with you," Terrill joked.
• Council member Jim Davis motioned to amend the minutes of a recent special called meeting regarding the awarding of grants. Davis wanted the minutes to reflect that he moved for a reduction of funding for Berea Kids Eat because the program already receives $30,000 in grant funding and $10,000 in support from Berea College.
• Jacque Bowling addressed the council to remind citizens there is still time to sign a petition regarding the recent tax vote by the Madison County Fiscal Court.
• Ethan Connelly addressed the council, distributing a letter asserting that the Berea City Council was not in compliance with Kentucky statutes when it formed the Audit and Finance Committee. Connelly requested all subsequent decisions of the committee be disqualified. After the meeting, Fraley said that while he is confident the council was in full compliance with the law, Connelly's complaint will be referred to Berea's corporate counsel for review.
• The city accepted one bid for tree trimming from D.A. Kendall Company of Lawrenceville, GA for $465 per unit hourly pricing. The bid will be referred to Kevin Howard for further review.
• The council adopted a budget amendment for fiscal year 2019-2020. The measure was approved 7-0. Emily LaDouceur was not present. The amendment was for $299,500, and included adjustments for animal control, a land/building purchase, general liability insurance, street resurfacing, and liability insurance for Berea Municipal Utilities.
• City Administrator David Gregory announced the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet set an October 1 deadline for the completion of the U.S. 25 North widening project.
• The council heard the first reading of a measure for a zone change from A1 agricultural to R1 single family owned by Les Stewart. The property is approximately 30 acres at 1035 Peggy Flats Road.
• Gregory announced property tax cards should be mailed to residents next week.
• Judith Carr and Wanda Lombardo of the Daughters of the American Revolution accepted a proclamation from Mayor Bruce Fraley commemorating September 17 - 23 as Constitution Week in the City of Berea.
• Leo, the Berea Police Department's new K-9 unit, received his certification along with K-9 Officer Jeff Harness. The team is expected to be on duty when Harness returns next week.