Georgetown mayor criticized for use of city workers

Georgetown mayor criticized for use of city workers

GEORGETOWN — Mayor Kay Sanders drew sharp criticism from the audience and council members over her decision to have city workers power-wash a privately owned building.

The large vacant brick building is on the southeast corner of East 11th and North Main streets. Sanders said she had two city workers spend two hours power-washing the building with city equipment three or four weeks ago.

"I wanted to see if the brickwork would stand up to power-washing," Sanders said. "If the washing didn't collapse the building, then I figured that painting wouldn't, either."

Sanders said her plan was to repaint the building as part of her city beautification projects.

Audience member Don Weil asked why city workers were washing a privately owned building.

"I asked them to do it, and they did," Sanders answered.

Council members Adam Hart, Janet Martin and Don Wheeler all said that the mayor was wrong to use city workers and equipment in that way. Sanders' argument — that city workers also collect downed branches from private property following storms — did not seem to satisfy them.

Sanders offered to personally reimburse city workers at a rate of $35 an hour for their work — "if that is what the council wants me to do" — but Hart said the total cost also includes the equipment, the water and fuel used, and workers' benefit costs.

Washing and repainting the building was a good idea, Sanders said, and she'd make the same decision again.

"I am gung-ho on getting this town cleaned up, one way or another," she said.

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