In a lengthy give and take at the May 7 board of aldermen meeting, Mayor Herb Adams and funeral director Jeff Palmore debated the city’s response to his request for a meeting to discuss city cemetery records.
Palmore and the city have been at odds for months over two grave spaces that Palmore said he owns, but were listed in city records in someone else’s name.
After reviewing records and creating a new grave ownership transfer process, the city attempted to turn the two graves over to Palmore, but the funeral director said current records indicate that the city does not own the spaces.
Palmore said the city has to get the records right before it can issue a need deed. He said many cemetery records are inaccurate and although he wants the city to give him deeds to the two grave spaces he owns, he is more concerned with other cemetery records where names are wrong.
Adams, for his part, said the city is trying to respond to requests that relate to Palmore’s ownership of the two spaces — not claims of other inaccuracies — and even if Palmore does not accept the city’s treatment of the issue their decisions will stand the test of good government practices.
“Everything isn’t perfect,” Adams said. “I’m in the business where vehicle titles are sometimes recorded with wrong information and the state attempts to correct the wrong. Government doesn’t always get it right.”
But what government does is the best response that individuals can come up with at the time.
“You may not find our solution perfect,” Adams said. “But it will stand.”
The mayor also said this will be the last time he will discuss ownership of the graves in a board meeting.
“We’ve created a process to transfer ownership. This is now an administrative matter for the city administrator and city sexton,” Adams said. “I’m not going to discuss this again at a board meeting.”