Officials appointed by city council
Approval of the appointment of non-elected officials to a variety of city positions was first Monday on the Peabody City Council agenda.
Members gave unanimous approval to appoint Bryson Mills as municipal court judge; Jan O’Neil as clerk of municipal court; Mac Manning Jr. as city administrator/clerk, zoning administrator, freedom of information officer, and flood plain administrator; Stephanie Ax as deputy city clerk/ treasurer and identity theft prevention program administrator; Bruce Burke as chief of police; Justin Weertz as a police officer; Norm Manley of Davis, Manley, and Lane, LLC as city attorney; Shane Marler as Main Street director; Kelly Cook as fire chief; and Darren Pickens as public works superintendent.
After two executive sessions to discuss personnel, the council returned to open session and voted to offer a part-time patrol officer position to James Dale Bowlin of Sedgwick. Bowlin will be paid $12 per hour.
Samantha Sattler of Peabody was offered the position of Animal Control Officer/Health and Ordinance Officer. She will be paid $10 per hour for a maximum of 20 hours a month.
In other business:
- City planning and zoning committee chairman Jim Rippe presented upgrades to the city zoning ordinances. Rippe said the project had taken more than two years to complete and the committee had reviewed each regulation line by line. A public hearing was in April as required by law and the new document was ready for final approval by the city council. Council members requested additional time to review the publication. A special meeting will be 6:30 p.m. May 23 for final discussion and approval.
- The cover had been removed from the municipal swimming pool and the pool was filled in preparation for the coming season.
- Marler announced new downtown planters are scheduled to arrive May 20. The Main Street design committee will work with the council on a plan to fill in the areas in the sidewalks where Bradford Pears formerly grew.
- Marler received permission to barricade Walnut Street from Second to First and from First Street south to Central and east to Maple during Operation Celebration May 28 and 29.
- Marler wrote and received a grant from Kansas Main Street for design assistance for the storefronts of the Baker buildings. The grant will save the city the expense of hiring an architect to design the commercial space.
- Manning reported he has begun preliminary budget meetings with department heads. Councilman David Scott asked Manning to have department heads evaluate the lifespan of their equipment so the council can be aware of future purchases and perhaps begin setting money aside for major items.
- Mayor Larry Larsen reviewed discussions he and Manning had with Marion County Commissioner Randy Dallke about a joint project to resurface Peabody Street and correct some drainage issues. No action was taken.
- Manning said he expects street work by APAC to begin in two weeks and be completed by July 4.
- Tim Caldwell asked for and received clarification about the salary increase for police chief Burke. He also asked about the city’s practice of flushing water out of hydrants and the cost to taxpayers. He also said alternative vehicle regulations needed to be more strictly enforced. He has seen more individuals violating the rules that regulate alternative vehicle use. Larsen encouraged Caldwell to report the violations to law enforcement.