Broken headstones due to sloppy mowing techniques, broken rakes, and random trash and mounds of dirt are a few of the unacceptable conditions many have complained about, he said.
On Monday, Talley handed over a list of unpaid burial fees that he said he obtained from the city through an open records request.
"It has some pretty prominent citizens' names on it that were buried," Talley said. "I have a hard time believing those families have not paid the funeral home for the services."
Talley told the commission someone needs to be checking on this immediately. He said he has been seriously considering taking on the responsibility himself to call some of the families he knows personally and let them know about the unpaid status.
"I doubt they will be very happy about it," Talley said after the meeting.
Preston-Pruitt Funeral Home was not on the list.
A recurring problem
Peek said a few years back, local funeral homes were in arrears and a meeting was held where promises to pay were made. Those promises were kept and the bills were paid, but now some funeral homes are behind once again.
"It's not fair to everybody. I don't understand how this could happen," Talley said. Peek said the fees are for opening and closing graves and the families are charged by the funeral homes, which in turn pay the city.
In a related matter, the city tabled action on a cemetery maintenance contract to allow the city engineer to do further work on the bid specifications.
Bids came in ranging from $36,000 to almost $166,000, which Commissioner Terry Crowley said indicates the specifications are not detailed enough. "This is not simply a mowing contract," Crowley said.
Engineer Earl Coffey suggested the second-lowest bid be accepted. Coffey said the lowest bid - received from McAfee Mowing and Landscaping, a company once patronized by the city - would not be the staff's first choice due to prior "communications issues."
Michael McAfee, owner of the company, told the commission he felt he has been "blackballed" and that the issue may be more of a personality conflict. "The communication issues were addressed, and I thought all was fine. But obviously, it's not a performance issue," McAfee said.
He said if he is going to be continually blackballed in the bidding process, he would prefer the city inform him so he does not spend his money, time and effort creating the proposals.
McAfee also submitted a formal protest about the bidding on Friday to Peek, who forwarded the information to City Attorney Ed Hays.
Hays had not reviewed the document before Monday's meeting.