Two dozen non-elected officials appointed
Mayor Larry Larsen appointed Jim Philpott to fill the unexpired city council position created when Larsen moved from council member to mayor in April.
The council voted 3-1 to approve the appointment with Steve Rose opposed. Philpott will take his seat on the council May 26.
Philpott grew up in Peabody and graduated from Peabody High School in 1990. He is married and the father of three sons.
Following review of a list of non-elected officials, the council cast a unanimous ballot to accept the appointments as recommended: municipal judge Bryson Mills, court clerk Cindy Harms, city administrator/zoning administrator/flood plain administrator/freedom of information officer Mac Manning Jr., deputy city clerk/treasurer/identity theft prevention administrator Stephanie Ax, fire chief Bret O’Dell, police chief Bruce Burke, police officers Jeremy Miller and Bradley Cady, city attorney Michael Biggs/Biggs Law Group, Main Street/economic development director Shane Marler, public works superintendent Darren Pickens, and animal control officer/health and safety officer Tammy Whiteside.
Members of Peabody planning and zoning committee were sworn-in by Manning. Members are Hannah Berns, Jay Cook, Bob Marshall, Curtis McBride, Jim Rippe, David Ragland, and Milton Toy.
The council approved long-awaited changes to the Standard Traffic Ordinance that will allow the use of alternative transportation in the city limits.
The new ordinance will be published in the Peabody Gazette-Bulletin next week and Burke will have a write-up for the newspaper outlining the changes and explaining any restrictions to the new ordinance.
In other business:
- Following an explanation of a new IRS ruling declaring employee cell phones a taxable benefit of employment, the council asked Manning to contact Alltel for rate schedules if the city changes from a group plan to individual plans.
- Manning offered a report on an insurance claim the city filed with Union Pacific Railroad for damage to Plum Street. He was unable to reach the adjuster, but will pursue resolution with UP.
- It was noted that Bob Kyle has begun mowing for the city. After discussion, council members approved a recommendation by Pickens to hire Drew Laffery as a second seasonal employee.
- Manning told the council the legislature did not cut or divert the alcohol tax that goes to municipalities for parks and recreation. Special highway funds that most communities rely on for street repairs also were spared.
- Manning was instructed to check with the state before the next meeting and find out if additional steps needed to close the sewer project. He also will contact Al Reiss and request the “as built” plans for the new sewer plant.
- The council heard a report from Whiteside about nuisance properties. Council members took action to abate several and will review others before the next council meeting and decide then how to address the issues for those properties. Because of the weather, Whiteside said she had not issued any letters for mowing violations.
- Flooding from the thunderstorms of the past week caused problems for several residents and businesses. Manning reported those complaints to the council. Upcoming street and alley repairs will take care of most of the problem