First, the council took up the issue of employee pay raises, which it has been discussing since February. Specifically, the issue of Police Chief Chad Gurganus’ salary was discussed.
Gurganus has been averaging 50 hours a week for the last few months, but is still being paid at a rate that was set for a 40-hour week.
The council asked city attorney Charles Tatum to look into the legal requirements of setting a salary based on the average work week and the city’s responsibilities regarding consistent overtime of a salaried employee. A special meeting may be called to further discuss the meeting once Tatum returns the requested items to the council members.
Next, the council discussed the bat problem that had been in city hall, the police department and other city buildings. A company hired by the council to remove the bats said it has completed the removal, as well as blocking all the areas the bats were using to enter the building. The council agreed to pay the company. The bat removal comes with a one-year guarantee, according to Mayor Pro Tem Chris Harvey, who presided over the meeting in the absence of the mayor.
Lastly, the council heard from a couple who have been asking the city to clean out their ditches and perform needed repairs to keep their property from flooding since February. Jerry and Jennie Wyers have been asking for help with the ditches near their house. Several council members and the mayor have visited the site, but the couple said nothing has been done.
The council told them that the mayor would have to instruct the workers to do it. Other council members expressed concerns about the city’s backhoe, although Harvey said the backhoe was still being used around the city for other projects, despite assertions from other council members that it was too dangerous to be in use.
“If it’s too dangerous to use to help them, it’s too dangerous to use at all,” Harvey said.
The council also voted unanimously to repair a security camera in the city clerk’s office and to move the monitor and recording equipment for the security cameras in city hall to a secure room, where only the mayor would have access.