Bell appointed Kingston police chief
by Neil McGahee
Apr 09, 2013 | 1440 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former Bartow County Clerk of Superior Court Gary Bell was named police chief — make that the entire police department — by the Kingston City Council at its Monday night meeting. After a unanimous approval vote, Bell was sworn in immediately by City Attorney Brandon Bowen.

“I’m ready to serve the citizens of Kingston,” Bell said. “I plan to do the best job I can for them.”

Bell is the lone police officer

on the Kingston payroll but

said he hopes to make a few staffing additions.

“First, I’ll have to look at the budget and see what we have in store for next year,” he said. “Second, I want to look into the possibility of federal grants that would help pay for extra officers.”

Bell served as the clerk of Superior Court from 2001 until 2012 when he lost his re-election bid to Melba Scoggins. He served as Kingston’s interim police chief after former chief Clay Patterson resigned March 17.

The saga of Kingston’s corrupted sewers neared an end with the council voting to accept a bid from Kirkpatrick Engineers for $44,000 in repairs plus $12,000 to have sediment removed from the Dawson Street well.

“Alright, now if we take every one of these steps here,” Mayor Ron Casey asked, “are we being assured that this little old well will meet all the government standards and specs they want done and we won’t have to fool with it, hopefully for a long time?”

After receiving assurances that all work met or exceeded government standards, the council voted to accept the $62,000 bid and begin repairs on the well.

The council next tackled another lingering problem.

“The next item is one we have talked about several times and tried to do something about it,” Casey said. “We have three streets that have duplicate numbers.”

Casey pointed out that problems — mainly with GPS coordinates used by emergency services — would arise by simply changing street numbers.

“The GPS things are already in,” he continued. “and people would have to change whatever the GPS people say they have to change. It also may be a problem with deeds as to the property names.”

Casey said City Clerk Michele Jones might have a simpler solution to the problem.

“We could put up signs that denote the difference between east and west,” he said. “Then we require people to have a sign in their yard with their address either east or west.

Council member Harold Posey suggested forming a committee to study the problem, but Casey dismissed that idea.

“I don’t have no committee,” he said. “I just rode around and looked at it and figured if we put west and east out there beside the road and require our citizens to place numbers in their yard, that would solve the problem and everybody would know where everybody’s at.”

In other business, the council:

• approved a vote to amend an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Cartersville;

• tabled a vote to renew a gas franchise agreement with the city of Cartersville due to a disagreement over length of the contract;

• tabled a vote to adopt the Bartow County animal ordinance with its amended provisions for dangerous dogs and requirements for classified dogs; and

• approved Capable Finance Solutions to build a system that would allow comparison of audits and budgets.

Kingston City Council will meet May 5 at 7 p.m.