Executive session will be January 19 to slim down field of candidates
Peabody City Council members were pleasantly surprised Monday night when they reviewed a list of 15 candidates for the position of city clerk.
“We have them from coast to coast,” said council president Steve Rose, who was in charge of the meeting during the absence of Mayor Ed Slocombe. Rose said there were applicants from Florida, Colorado, Virginia, and Washington.
After discussion, council members agreed to meet upstairs in the library at 7 p.m. Jan. 19 to review the applications and select the ones they would like to interview.
“I am anxious to see the resumes,” said Councilman Tom Schmidt. “I think this (the number of applications) bodes well for finding a good candidate.”
The meeting will be an executive session.
Later in the meeting, Interim City Clerk Stephanie Ax said Kansas Department of Transportation will attend the March 9 meeting to discuss plans for closing U.S.-50 to make repairs in the Florence area and to widen the roundabout at the U. S.-50/77 intersection.
“We had quite a few phone calls after the recent article in the paper about the announcement at the Florence City Council meeting,” said Ax. “I didn’t really have any information from KDOT so I called and asked. They agreed to come to the meeting and address the mayor and council.”
According at Ax, KDOT officials are leaning toward a plan to run crews 24 hours a day for five to seven days in order to get the job done quickly. She also noted the weather will affect the final plans.
In other business:
- A proposal for employee health insurance was presented by Joe Walters of Creative Insurance Strategies. No decision was made.
- An employee meeting was held to discuss a possible switch to an HMO policy if the city stays with Hillger Insurance, its current carrier.
- A 2009 cereal malt beverage license to Sammi Stafford for the Coneburg Inn was approved.
- Chris Young’s proposal to do city snow removal will have some changes. He is willing to help with a large snow or if the city has an equipment failure, but he feels his proposal for the whole job steps on the toes of city workers. On a suggestion from Schmidt, council agreed Young should re-write his proposal. Ax will contact him.
- Ax provided the planning and zoning committee with a current city map, copies of the comprehensive plan, copies of the current zoning regulations, and other items the committee requested.
- Health and safety officer Tammy Whiteside will move forward action with a garden spot at 805 Vine and a nuisance property at 803 Chestnut. Council members reviewed a dangerous situation with windows on the property at 109 N. Walnut, owned by Cory Lawson. The owner will be contacted to make repairs.
- Whiteside reported she is at capacity as animal control officer. The director of Helping Hands in Newton in Newton is creating a bid proposal to take dogs and cats from Peabody. Veterinarian Pat Regier of rural Whitewater also is interested. Whiteside will contact him for a bid.
- Ax reported a 45-cent per hour increase was implemented for city employees on their most recent paychecks.
- The Stevenson family was billed for the cost of a Dumpster used to clean-up their property.
- Knudson and Monroe will conduct the city audit Jan. 27- 29.
- A communication was reviewed from Allegiance informing the city the cable company will be raising its rates after the digital conversion deadline.
- All texting capabilities had been removed from city phones.
- Several homes suffered water damage from pipes that froze and burst due to cold weather.
- The council approved a review by the city’s exterminator of a Brown Recluse infestation at the city building.
- Public works employee Ronnie Harms has been diligent about addressing taste and odor issues in the water in some areas of the community and fewer complaints are coming in.
- A proposal for safety instruction for city employees was approved.
- The use of language on the original demolition plan was approved for the former sewer plant. Ax has been in touch with Bucher, Willis, and Ratzlaff about the notification from Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the final steps to close-out the sewer project.
- The future of the city shop building and the Butler house property were discussed. Schmidt said there were parties interested in purchasing the properties from the city. Council members agreed with Schmidt that each prospective buyer needs to receive a statement of full disclosure on the condition of the buildings and the city needs a proposal from each interested party about what they would do with the buildings.
- Councilman Leslie LaFoy said the alternative transportation committee had met and agreed on a plan for people who want to use skateboards, scooters, golf carts and other non-traditional means of conveyance in the city. It will be presented by Police Chief Burke at the next meeting.
- The council discussed but came to no decision about trying to work with the school to maintain a sign on FFA property that formerly advertised the Newton Outlet Mall.
- The council entered executive session for the purpose of discussing personnel and took no action on return to open meeting.