Chattahoochee city council welcomes new chief of police

The City of Chattahoochee held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m.

The meeting opened with an address to the city council by Chattahoochee resident Lois Emberton, who is experiencing water drainage issues on her property.

Emberton expressed frustration that the city was not doing more to identify the source of the problem, which she believes may be a result of broken water lines.

Emberton acknowledged that City Manager Robert Presnell built an asphalt barrier on the property that helped, but only on one side of the house.

Presnell stated that he would like to test standing water on Emberton’s property for chlorine, which is present in city water, to determine if the water actually came from broken water lines or from another source.

Presnell also stated that he had received an engineer’s report right before the meeting, which he would analyze and then follow any recommendations provided to resolve the issue.

The next item on the agenda was a public hearing on City of Chattahoochee resolution 2023-02, which would adopt a local mitigation strategy for storm damage, flooding, and other similar issues.

This would allow the city to apply for a federal grant for infrastructure projects.

Also discussed was the approval of a contract with Universal Electric of Tallahassee to perform a water systems upgrade using federal funds.

Universal Electric was awarded the bid by the council at the February monthly meeting.

After a brief discussion, the council voted 3-1 to approve the contract, with Mayor Pro-Tem Christopher Moultry choosing to vote no, not because he was opposed to the contract, but because he was not at the last meeting, did not have enough information, and could not abstain.

City Manager Presnell then introduced new Chief of Police Mike Miller to the city council.

Chief Miller has 15 years of experience in law enforcement, most recently as the chief of police in the nearby town of Sneads.

Miller also served as a deputy sheriff in Jackson County, and captain of the Marianna police department for 11 years.

The city council had the opportunity to ask questions of the new chief, as well as state their expectations.

“One thing I want to see is more police riding the streets,” said Mayor Amy Glass.

“A proactive officer will deter crime,” Chief Miller agreed. “It depends on how much you’re willing to go out there and do it, how much you’re going to interact with the community. One thing I’m big on is data. I look at all the data from the area, from traffic complaints to traffic crashes to crime trends, to see where we need to put more people. We don’t just go out with a shotgun approach, we go out with a targeted method.”

Next, Council Member Ann Williams asked Presnell about dealing with three burned out houses in the city.

Presnell replied that he had a discussion earlier that day with city attorney Jennifer Shuler, who is making proposed changes to city ordinances, to be approved by the council at the April city meeting.

Presnell stated that as soon as the changes were made, he could proceed legally to deal with the ruins.  

Stephen Klein – Gadsden County News Service


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