City sticker ordinance passes first reading

Chris Wilcox
Staff writer

Lidia Vazquez/contributing photographer

The Murray City Council voted yes Thursday night on the first reading of the city sticker draft, which does not exempt students from purchase of a sticker.

Prior to the city council meeting, the Finance/Personnel Committee met Monday night and decided as a majority to propose a draft to the council, which would exempt students.

At the city council meeting this draft was amended by majority to take out the exemption for Murray State students.

Alan Lanier, Murray director of finance, said at the council meeting an exemption for students did not match up with existing state statutes. The existing statutes state there can be no separate class of individuals, meaning Murray State students can not be lawfully exempt.

“The council needs to give us direction on the matter tonight,” he said. “If something is not done the city will not be capable of selling city stickers.”

City stickers go on sale on May 1.

Jeremy Bell, council member, said he was in favor of the exemption for students who were not working in the city of Murray.

Robert Billington, Finance/Personnel Committee member, said he was in opposition of an ordinance that exempted students. He said the city provides fire department services as well as city police services to Murray State University. He said since this is the case students should have to buy the city sticker which finances the general fund of the city.

This general fund pays for the fire department, Murray Police and road construction and maintenance.

“I want to amend the draft so that it no longer includes an exemption,” Billington said.

Jay Morgan, University assistant provost and council member, said the ordinance clearly stated the money obtained from the city sticker tax could only be used for the regulation and upkeep of city streets.

Pat Scott, retaliated by saying the money went to the general funds; it would displace money spent on the fire and police departments.

A motion to remove the exemption passed with a 9:3 vote.

Morgan cited several discrepancies he believed should be fixed before the night’s vote.

“After being in this discussion for eight months I don’t believe the council has the full knowledge to decide,” he said. “If the council feels they are prepared we can vote it through on the first reading.”

Without addressing discrepancies presented by Morgan, the council proceeded to vote on the first reading, which no longer exempts students.

The vote was 9:3, and the draft including the previously eliminated exemption passed on the first reading.

Mayor Bill Wells said the Finance/Personnel Committee could meet again to discuss the discrepancies Morgan mentioned. A second and final reading will be done on March 22.