Bland aldermen added a police department discussion to the March 9 agenda Monday night, inviting the public to learn why they are asking citizens to approve Prop 1 — creating an appointed …
Bland aldermen added a police department discussion to the March 9 agenda Monday night, inviting the public to learn why they are asking citizens to approve Prop 1 — creating an appointed marshal’s position instead of it being an elected post.
Meanwhile, the city continues its search for officers as the part-time patrolman is expected to submit his resignation letter Friday.
“We need to try to have a town hall meeting,” Alderman Diana Mayfield said Feb. 10. “To discuss the marshal position. We need to get out and do that — get out and talk to people.”
The board had expressed concern before that former marshal Patrick Boatman wasn’t working enough to keep the town safe. That discussion led to the city adding a measure to the April ballot, requesting voters allow the board to appoint a marshal and police department instead of electing an official.
As the marshal’s position is vacant, the city is still required to run the it on the April ballot. No one declared candidacy, so the potential occupant will have to be a write-in candidate. Aldermen decided to address the marshal’s compensation in the event Prop 1 fails.
“We’ve been waiting on the attorney since I started in April (to make this change,” Mayfield told the board.
Under Missouri State Statute, the board may not change an elected official’s compensation while they are in office. It must be changed by ordinance and goes into effect after the next election.
“I recommend an hourly wage,” said Mayor Lee Medlock.
Alderman Sherry Spradling said she felt that was fair.
The board voted 3-0 to change the marshal’s compensation from a sliding scale to $15 an hour for a full-time employee, plus benefits.
Patrolmen are also being needed.
“(Patrolman) Josh Smith began working for us part-time around October 10,” said Bland City Clerk Carrie Krupp.
Krupp told aldermen that Smith said he would submit his resignation letter by the end of the week when Medlock asked if the officer was going to be at the meeting.
“Owensville is an officer down,” Krupp explained, as Smith works for the Owensville Police Department full-time. “Between that and his family issues, he said he would be resigning — probably Friday.”
Boatman’s resignation in September left the city without a police force and Smith was hired the following month.
Krupp said that since the city has not had a consistent police force and with Smith resigning, they have other problems that require police action.
“We have other issues we need to address,” she told the board.
At least two residents who had not paid their water bill, one for 19,000 gallons and another for 17,000 gallons, had cut the locks on their water meters to continue their own services.
Public Works Director Jason Lewis added another city ordinance violation, “Citizens are burning trash in their yards. You can burn sticks, yard waste, paper, cardboard — but you can’t burn trash.”
Krupp added that there are several dogs roaming the neighborhoods. All of which cannot be addressed without an officer.
Aldermen decided to advertise for another part-time patrolman on Facebook and to call the Sheriff’s Academy in an effort to recruit a new officer.
“We are paying officers $15 an hour,” Mayfield added.
Medlock told Krupp to advertise the pay as well. The board voted 3-0 to move forward with advertising the patrolman position.