Lebanon Personnel Committee examines two-tier system and possible inspector position

By Angela Simmons

LEBANON – The city of Lebanon’s personnel committee is continuing to examine job descriptions in the city manual, as well as the possibility of adding a building inspection and code enforcement position. 

Alderman Rick Gale asked how, with existing budgetary issues, the city would come up with the salary for the additional position. Mayor Rich Wilken offered to research into what the city has paid in out-sourcing fees to various contractors and compare those costs to the feasibility of adding an employee. 

Wilken also spoke about the ease of having a dedicated city employee versus continuing to use contractors, especially with the expected influx of business in the TIF district. “This is all a part of the game. There’s no doubt we have to do our due diligence in this process. I would rather start looking at this now versus waiting until July and realizing there’s a mess here and we need someone immediately,” Wilken responded to questions regarding timing and financial feasibility. 

He also suggested “putting together a job description and seeing what kind of interest there is in such a position.”

Other city job descriptions will be examined by their department supervisors before being ultimately added to the city manual, according to Alderman Gale. 

He suggests examining the potential of a two-tier system for city employees, and raised issues of union versus non-union employees, and paid holidays. “Let me state that recommended changes have nothing to do with our current employees, and any changes would affect employees hired after a certain date. In order to do that, we need to look at a two-tier system that has current and future employees in mind,” Gale explained. 

He continued, referencing recent contract negotiations and said that one of the issues was that “Holiday pay is ten hours. The work day is eight hours, but yet, they’re paid ten. Part f the reasoning was discussing one trade versus another, but when you have one trade that works ten to twelve hours a day and others that work eight, that’s comparing apples and oranges. The first step is to change the manual to reflect what we want it to reflect.” 

Another issue raised was what days qualified for holidays, with Black Friday and Good Friday specifically mentioned as days that are not federal holidays. The committee will bring the discussion to full council and continue to strive towards determining job descriptions and updated policies. 

The next full council meeting will be Monday, January 14 at 7:00 p.m.

In Other News:

• A 2006 Ford F-250 that is no longer being used by the city will be checked for condition, and depending on that will be declared as surplus and sold or saved as a backup truck for the public works department. 

• The finance committee went over the budget and the year’s revenues and expenditures compared to the budget. The 2016-2017 budget year ended with more than $611,000 in the general fund balance, and so far, the 2017-2018 budget is showing a deficit. 

Mayor Rich Wilken joined the committee for the discussion, and reminded them that there are significant funds wrapped up in land deals that will either yield money or land for the city depending on outcome. Wilken also suggested speaking to the city’s auditors or accountant Barb Cioni to have a more detailed breakdown to present to the city council. Treasurer Paul Grob was absent for the meeting, and the committee made note of questions to present to him.

• The water and sewer committee will recommend to the council approval for renewing the GIS contract with Thouvenout, Wade and Moerchen at a cost of $3,000. This will renew the contract for one year. 

The committee is also recommending the council give official approval to pay $6,000 for a replacement Flygt CP 4 inch pump that went out over the holidays.