City Council Discusses New Chief Of Police Appointment And More
The Dillon City Council met on Wednesday, April 20th. First on the discussion was the appointment of Jeremy Alvarez from assistant Chief of Police to interim Chief of Police. Councilman Daniel Nye and Councilwoman Mary Jo O'Rourke both asked if they would be advertising the job opening for the vacant position or do they plan on moving Alvarez to the position? They both wanted to know if it is in the city codes to advertise for this position. Mayor McGinley stated Alvarez will fill in and tell they have advertised for the position, and he will be making the decision with the Council meeting on June 1st.
Looking through the past appointments for Chiefs of Police, Chief Guiberson was appointed after serving as interim chief for five days. Mayor Klakken at the time said they did not need to advertise for the position, and he was appointing Guiberson to the position. With Chief of Police, Paul Craft he was also appointed by the Mayor at that time. It seems after looking at the city laws the mayor has full power to appoint the Chief of Police and has done this in the past, with officers who have been a part of the police force and understand the town and its working.
When Fire Chief Klose finished his report, he gave his opinion that there is no faster way to destroy a good working force than to bring in an outsider. As of now Jeremy Alvarez will serve as the interim Chief of Police. He has proven his leadership capabilities as he served as the assistant chief of police as well as taking over when Chief Guiberson had medical issues for the last two years. He was able to keep the force moving and functional without causing much disruption or change.
Up next was the Library Board, they are working on hiring people for summer programs, but head Librarian Lori Canady stated they cannot pay a wage that would help retain people. Most people they have hired return their keys when the training stages are almost over saying they will not do the work for what the pay is. As of now the City would like to hire at $11.55/hr but they cannot afford to do this as they would also have to increase the other employees wages as well.
Another hot button item up for discussion was a foot bridge located on S. Pacific Street. The bridge is under disarray and needs to either be rebuilt or looked at by an engineer to see if it is safe. After looking at the bridge in person it does buckle and sway as one walks across it.
City attorney stated that if it is unsafe and questions have been raised the city does need to take precautions in its use as it opens them up to liability issues. Councilwoman O’Rourke objected to the idea of closing off the bridge stating 200 people a day use it. If the bridge is in disarray and needs repair, would it be cheaper to just replace the bridge then bring in an engineer to look at it and give his opinion before proceeding?
During public comment former Mayor George Warner brought up the legitimately of City Judge appointing a stand in as she was away on active duty. As per the last meeting it was clear she could do this she provided paperwork with what she could and could not do, but many people on the council acknowledged they did not read this paperwork. Warner also warned the city of the upcoming budget as the cost of everyday operations have skyrocketed.
If you would like to watch the whole council meeting it can be found here. https://youtu.be/marSN7RmNtY