Peabody City Council went into a 10-minute executive session Monday to discuss personnel. After returning to open session, council members approved a motion to remove the word “interim” from Ronnie Harms’s title as Public Works Superintendent. Harms will be subject to a six-month evaluation period with a performance review.
Three council members voted in favor of the motion, one opposed and one abstained.
After a lengthy discussion — and no solution — of creating a policy to provide employees with relief, food, and water when they are called out on weekends, holidays, or during the night, council members instructed City Clerk Stephanie Lago to research policies from other communities and bring a draft to the next council meeting.
Additional discussion focused on “on call” compensation for members of the police department and the public works department. Because of the way shifts are scheduled, methods for computing “on call” wages have proven to be inequitable. Lago was instructed to research the city’s policy and create a draft of changes for each department.
Information from Marion County Clerk Tina Spencer indicated that Peabody was among many Kansas towns that violated a little known new ruling by Kansas legislators about approving and publishing a budget for 2016. A bill passed allows for units of government to increase the amount of taxes levied to more than the previous year’s increase, but requires the government unit to publish a notice to that effect.
Peabody did not publish the notice; it only published the proposed budget. As a result, council members on Monday voted to repeal the proposed 2016 budget, voted to pass Resolution 05-2015, which provides required notification to Peabody residents, then voted to adopt the 2016 budget as presented.
Standard Traffic Ordinance for 2015 and Uniform Public Offence Code for 2015 were approved as well. Approval of the codes is done annually.
Council members heard the animal shelter, records, and equipment passed another state inspection.