By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Motley’s Chief of Police Brian Madison told the City Council Wednesday that he had concerns with the lack of police coverage in the city.
“I have scheduling issues since losing two part-time officers,” Madison said. One replacement has been hired, but that person has another full-time job and is not as available as Madison would like.
As it stands, the weekend shifts are not being covered as well as Madison, and the Council, would like to see.
“I would like to hire another officer, but want to have him or her commit to a certain number of hours,” said Madison.
The Motley Police Department has staffed one full-time officer (Madison) and the other officers split up another 40 hours. No officer was given a required number of hours to work.
Madison would like to change that.
Council Member Rob Sampson asked what the Police Department budget looked like and Madison said it was on track or below.
Mayor Nancy Nieken asked if the decision could be made during the upcoming budget meeting and all agreed it could wait.
Council Member Pat O’Regan wanted to know how far into the future would the city be short-handed.
“If we keep running short-handed, it will take just one incident for people to be unhappy,” he said.
Council Member Amy Hutchison said she had concerns with the lack of coverage on the upcoming weekends.
“I want a long-term plan. The hiring, supplying uniforms and training has been a waste of taxpayer money. We need to get on track,” she said.
O’Regan said the city needs to encourage new officers to stay with the city.
“We need to learn what we can do to ensure that happens,” he said.
At the upcoming budget meeting, the council members will decide if 80 hours is enough for officers to cover the city.
Motley City Council briefs
Other business brought before the City Council Wednesday included:
•Voting to accept the revised weed ordinance. Items added or deleted included creating an appeal committee and an inspector; excepting properties designated as green space by the Council from the responsibility of removing weeds; property owners are responsible for the removal of uncontrolled weeds and grasses in excess of 9 inches in height; the inspector will report to the Council on the condition of weeds; and allowing city employees or outside contractors to remove the weeds to conform with the ordinance;
•Voting to allow the Fire Department to spend funds to repair leaky valves on the city’s two pumper trucks;
•Learning that many of the city’s fire trucks have not been serviced for two years. The Council voted to create a schedule of having the equipment serviced regularly;
•Voting to allow Maintenance Supervisor Bruce Brotherton to weld cracks in the city’s snow plow at his home;
•Voting to continue offering a Board of Review at City Hall instead of allowing Cass County to take over the job; and
•Learning there have been 13 applications for the job of assistant city clerk.
The next City Council meeting will be held at the Motley City Hall Tuesday, Sept. 9, beginning at 6 p.m.