Kingston suspends city clerk Jones
by Matt Shinall
Dec 07, 2010 | 2360 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kingston's Monday work session was dominated by nearly two hours of executive session to discuss personnel matters.

Earlier that day, City Clerk Michele Jones was suspended with pay. She presented to The Daily Tribune News a document signed by Mayor Dexter Jones notifying her of her suspension citing 11 reasons for the action. With this document, she also provided supporting evidence in her own defense against each charge.

Mayor Jones had no comment on the action, citing legal concerns and plans to issue further information in coming days.

"We're going to temporarily see if we can get the situation worked out, and hopefully, we'll be able to get everybody on the right path. I don't know how much I can legally say about it at this time," he said.

Since the loss of former City Treasurer Celeste Keeter, the city has not permanently filled the position, leaving Michele Jones to solely man the city office and perform the administrative duties of city clerk. Mayor Jones would not specify Monday who would staff the office in her absence, saying only that the doors would remain open.

Before adjournment, the mayor alluded to the rocky relationship between himself and the council.

"Running a city like this, there's some ups and downs and bumps and bruises, and I think everybody up here has the full thought of the city in their heart. We may disagree on things sometimes, on the little tricky things about it, but above all I think we're on the same page and we're going to get the city going and I think we have got it going in the right direction," Dexter Jones said.

The only item on the agenda was the restoration of the welcome sign on Highway 293 and Railroad Street. Citing the need for a better image, it was asked that the sign be repainted.

The council also made mention of helping needy families this Christmas as has been done in the past.

Separately, the mayor mentioned that the 2009 audit will hopefully be finished this week. This will aid in areas outside of fiscal management such as grant applications. Work has already begun on a United States Department of Agriculture grant for water system improvements, while the mayor also wants to research possibilities for the renovation of the old depot using Transportation Economic Assistance Grants.

The Kingston City Council will meet again Monday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. at city hall.