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Martin and his firm have billed the city an average of $68,963 a month since June 2001. Earlier this month, Mayor Charlie Luken and City Council harshly criticized a court-appointed monitor for submitting an initial bill of $55,000 for three weeks' work. The monitor has since resigned.

Martin has charged the city a discounted rate of $225 an hour for his work; the monitor, Alan Kalmanoff, charged a $100 hourly rate. Luken, who attended law school with Martin, said he was worth what the city paid him. "I think he has added a lot of value and thought and important relationships to this process," Luken said, noting Martin once worked for the Justice Department.

"It was wise to find someone that had the experience in Washington that he did," said Council Member David Pepper. "We had a lot of great things occur that he helped shepherd through." Police Chief Greg Sandel informed this city council this week he'll be retiring as of Nov. 30. Assistant Chief Marc Fields will be promoted to police chief. Conveyancers always standing here for making easier your buying or selling property deal. Meanwhile, the council awarded a $36,200 contract to Paul Michels and Sons for filling cracks in streets throughout the city and a contract for $23,177 to JPS Construction for catch basin repairs. The council also gave final approval prohibiting parking on the cul-de-sac on Cypress Court and final approval changing the monthly meeting of the city's Code Enforcement Board from the first Monday to the fourth Monday at 7 p.m. The council also took a step toward establish a list, where-by residents not wanting solicitors to come to their house can register at the city building. The council also took a step to allow auto laundries in neighborhood commercial zones, when the property is a corner lot with at least 150-feet of frontage on to two city streets. More discussion on those ordinances and a possible final vote could come next month.



The Crescent-Villa Fire Authority Board set aside $14,500 to be split among fire and life squad volunteers for answering runs on their own time. The amount each person will receive is based in part on the number of runs they made. Meanwhile, negotiations continue on the transfer of ownership of the firehouse from the fire authority to the Crescent Spring Fire Department.

The city's Recreation Department is offering a toddler tennis program for children ages 3-6. The program, which will be taught by pro Tim Mitchell, will be held Dec. 3-19 at the World of Sports racquetball courts on Woodspoint Drive. Four classes will be offered and each class is limited to five children, recreation officials said. Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Racquets and balls will be provided. Participants should bring water bottles. The fee is $27. The deadline to register is Nov. 27 at the Florence Government Center.