The Sneads Town Council met on February 14 for the monthly town meeting at city hall.
Following the approval of last month’s minutes and the paying of the town bills, Chief of Police Mike Miller was invited to recognize two members of the Sneads Police Department for their actions in separate shooting incidents.
Sergeant Brett Preston was awarded a medal of valor for injuries received on July 23, 2022 when he and a deputy from the Gadsden County Sheriff’s Department were ambushed by an armed assailant and Preston was shot several times.
Despite his injuries, Sergeant Preston remained in the fight to bring the attacker down.
The Sneads town council issued a proclamation that the week of February 19, 2023 be set aside as Sergeant Brett Preston Week in the town of Sneads, with all citizens being asked to honor Preston as a hometown hero.
Officer Maverick Haddock also received a medal of valor and a letter of appreciation from the town council for his actions in a shooting incident on October 13, 2022, in which he was fired on by a suspect after responding to a call from dispatch of the suspect threatening a family member.
Upon spotting the suspect and giving chase, the suspect returned to their residence, and when Officer Haddock entered the yard, opened fire on him.
Haddock returned fire, and the suspect was wounded and fled inside the residence, where they were taken into custody when backup arrived.
“I’ve been given the great honor of being able to serve with these two men,” said Chief Miller before presenting the awards. “They both were put into a situation we all hope we never have to be in. And in that situation, they didn’t back down, they didn’t run away. They did exactly what they had to. So we’re going to recognize them tonight for their bravery and their sacrifice during that time.”
The entire Sneads Police Department was present at the meeting, and both Sergeant Preston and Officer Haddock received a standing ovation from the audience.
Each member of the Town council, including Town Manager Lee Garner, then stood to personally thank both officers for their courage in protecting the citizens of Sneads.
The next item on the agenda was a proposal by Engineer Travis Howell to apply for funding from the Florida Department of Transportation Small Communities Operation Grant for either resurfacing or re-construction work to be done on East Pope Street.
The cost is estimated to be $380,000 and, as a zero match grant, would be completely covered by FDOT if awarded.
Howell stated that if the council agrees to apply for the grant, they should find out by either the end of summer or early fall if the grant has been awarded and work might begin by early spring of 2024.
Councilman Anthony Money made a motion to approve the request, which was seconded by Councilwoman Angela Locke, and the motion carried 5-0.
Town Manager Garner then presented some changes to the Town of Sneads Personnel Policy for review.
The first were some minor word changes to the Sick Leave Donation Policy, and the second would require employees who voluntarily resign in good standing to give their supervisor a 14 day notice to be eligible to receive a portion of their vacation and sick day balance.
Councilman George Alexander made a motion to approve both changes, seconded by Councilwoman Locke. The motion carried 5-0.
Wendi Lewis and Meagan McIntosh, representing the Sneads Recreation Committee, appeared before the council to give updates on current recreation events.
The 2023 baseball and softball season, which begins in March, will have the largest number of participants in the town’s history.
In response, the Recreation Committee is working on getting more coaches, uniforms, and sponsors for the teams.
Lewis and McIntosh also asked for volunteers to speak to a member of the committee if they wish to assist, and for help with a clean-up day at the ballpark, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. on February 25.
Ball Day at the park will be on April 1.
During the Town Manager’s report, Garner mentioned that emails had been sent to the Governor and the legislative delegation regarding assistance with salaries for police officers and additional Rural Infrastructure Funding for constrained counties, which applies to Jackson County.
Garner also mentioned that he would be in Tallahassee on February 15 to advocate for items on behalf of the Town of Sneads, including lights for the ballfield.
Finally, Garner reminded all present about the upcoming town elections, which will be held on April 11, from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Stephen Klein – Gadsden County News Service