Government meetings are open to the public, and there is often something of interest to the residents of a town or county, but attendance at those meetings is usually low. That’s where the news media comes in hand, providing the information to the public so that they can stay informed without having to attend the meetings.
The news media proved its worth to the City of Yatesville recently. In December, Mayor Cecil Moncrief reported that the city’s bucket truck, which is mainly used to put up and take down the Christmas lights, was on its last legs and the city would need to find another way to get the lights up and down.
The Thomaston Times ran an article on the need for the truck in its December 24, 2013 issue, and Mayor Moncrief reported at the Yatesville City Council meeting on January 13 that since that article ran, he has gotten several calls about the truck.
“In two days, I had three different people, due to the newspaper putting it in there, call me,” the mayor said. “John Perdue came in and he’s got one (a bucket truck) that he’d been willing to sell if we wanted to buy one. Billy Lee knows that truck. It came from the Forestry Commission, and all he did with it was pick pinecone seeds. Price is $6,000, and it will go a lot higher than the one we’ve got. If you’re cutting trees or things like that, it would be handy.
“Neal Trice with Upson EMC called me and told me he would volunteer their bucket truck to come down here and install the lights and take the lights down, no charge. I checked with Ronnie and he had gotten a crew and already taken the lights down.
“Then I had another guy call me,’ said Moncrief. “I can’t remember his name, but he said they would be willing to do us a deal like they did with the City of Zebulon. It is not a bucket truck, but it is a trailer they pull that has the bucket that goes up on it. They would bring it in on a Friday morning and pick it up on a Monday morning, and would charge us $500 for the three days. I told him I certainly did appreciate it, but we had a slightly better offer than that. We don’t spend that much putting them up and taking them down. But he did say if we decided to get rid of our bucket truck, he would be willing to talk to us about it.
“Keep it in the back of your mind,” the mayor told the council. “We have the bucket truck and have worked on it several times throughout the years. It seems like every time you need it, it goes out. We need to decide whether we want to invest in a bucket truck just to have, because it has come in handy before when we have a storm and have to cut limbs, and things like that. We don’t have to wait on someone. Mull that over and we’ll talk about it again next month and see how you feel about it.
“But Neal Trice did say they will come down every year – we just have to put them out, and they’ll put them up and take them down, every year. I certainly was appreciative of Mr. Trice offering that to us. It was very nice of him.”
Council member Phyl Gatlin noted that the EMC has been very helpful to the city in the past.
“They also sent a truck with an auger down here to dig the holes for the swingset. They have helped us out before, and we appreciate that.”
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter at LarryStanford7.