Peabody City Council member Tom Schmidt ended an 11½-year stint as a council member Monday night with the surprise announcement of his resignation effective at the end of the meeting.
Schmidt said that several life changes had started the thinking that brought him to the decision to end his tenure on the council.
“My job description and responsibilities at work have changed and those changes will have an effect on how much time I can devote to doing things like this,” he said. “In addition, we have five grandchildren who are growing up quickly and I want to have more time to spend with them while they are young.”
Schmidt said that he felt he and his fellow council members had made some good choices for the community and sometimes the good choices were not the easy or popular ones.
He thanked the city staff, mayor, and council members for contributing their time and effort to city projects.
The mayor may make an appointment to fill the position or leave it empty until the next general election.
In other business:
- Following a 10-minute executive session to discuss personnel, the council approved moving Krishyn Caldwell from part-time to full-time and raising her salary from $11 to $12 per hour. With the announcement that Ronnie Harms had passed his water certification exam, the council raised his salary from $16.30 to $17 per hour.
- City administrator Mac Manning shared information from the city attorney, the Kansas League of Municipalities, and the city’s insurance carrier about the Peabody Fire Department’s request to implement a cadet program. Manning said the reaction from the parties was mixed and there were areas of concern that needed to be addressed such as safety, supervision, child labor laws, and liability insurance. The topic was tabled for more information.
- The council approved the 2014 to 2019 capital improvement budget presented to them at the April 14 meeting. Manning cautioned that each line item would actually have to be voted on to appear in the formal budget for the year in which it appears.
- Manning reported the cost of the city’s state health insurance will drop two percent effective July 1, 2014.
- Kansas Clean Properties will be in Peabody this week sweeping all the streets with curb and guttering. In a related issue, Police Chief Bruce Burke said he started listing properties in violation of the city mowing ordinance and he would mail warning letters next week.
- Harms reported city employees have begun to fill the pool since the liner repair work was finished. Pool manager Beth Peter told the council she would like to have the pool open for swim team practice by May 19.
- Peter also requested permission to purchase several life jackets for pool use. She will find costs for specific sizes and report back to the council.
- Duane and Arlene Unruh were present to talk to the council about the status of Peabody Veterinary Clinic, which is adjacent to Arlene Unruh’s home on Second St. They were concerned about hearing talk of a new structure being built on the clinic property after the building is razed. Planning and zoning chairman Jim Rippe told them the clinic property is not large enough to accommodate a building.
- The council voted to appoint Preston Hodges, Brian McDowell, and Eric Barnes as temporary city employees for July 4 to satisfy necessary insurance requirements for the city.
- Larsen told the council that elementary school principal Ken Parry and teachers had taken students to the park on Friday to pick up sticks from the areas city employees will be mowing in a few weeks. The event was a community service project for the students.
- Burke told the council that he had recently been made aware of a deaf child living on S. Olive St. He will be installing two “Deaf Child Area” signs in the 100 block of the street. He said the child’s family was not concerned about people going to and from the burn pit as they are usually driving slowly, carrying branches or yard waste. The parents are concerned about the railroad vehicles and large pieces of farm equipment that often use the street.
The next meeting council meeting will be at 7 p.m., May 12 in the city building.