Gordon City Council swears in Carr as newest member of Gordon PD
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By Scott Bidroski
The Gordon City Council held their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, January 12. The meeting began at 6:00 p.m.
Council members Alyssa DeHart, Dennis Child, Tim Bounous, Tom Evans, and Kelly Grant were all present at the meeting.
The minutes from the December 8, 2022 meeting and the minutes from the January 5, 2022 meeting were both approved.
That was followed up by the presentation of the December 2022 Treasurer’s Report.
City Manager Glen Spaugh gave the Council details in regards to the Treasurer’s Report as they have reached the 1/4 mark of the fiscal year.
Spaugh went over a majority of the numbers to the Council, highlighting certain categories, and the Council approved the Treasurer’s Report.
The Bills were then presented to the Council for review.
Without much discussion, the Council approved the Bills as presented.
Recently, Harley Carr, had begun working with the Gordon Police Department following his completion of training in Grand Island, Neb.
Carr was officially sworn in as a Police Officer by Council President DeHart.
Resolution 2023-01 was presented to the Council for review.
The Resolution established a policy for the payment of payroll and associated expenses on a bi-weekly payment term.
The Council needed to approve the Administration to pay the employees without their approval initially. The Council will see those items that were paid out at the next Council meeting for review.
The Council approved Resolution 2023-01.
Gordon citizen Dale Kelly was present and asked to speak with the Council about Snow on Main Street - Clean Up.
Kelly told the Council that the City of Gordon does a really nice job of cleaning up the snow. He is concerned about the cars that park on Main St. and the issues they create with removing snow. Kelly added that they are signs that mark no parking on the side streets off of Main and if those were removed, people could move their vehicles there to speed up the process of cleaning the main thoroughfare.
The Council and City Clerk Kim Buchan said that all parking rules and regulations are set by Ordinance and would need to be passed by the Council.
Dan Bishop, Public Works Director, stated that as the head of snow removal, he would rather deal with cars on Main rather than the side streets because the side streets drift in much worse than Main St. does.
Kelly stated okay then and said he had nothing more to discuss.
Marlys Slater was present at the meeting and wanted to discuss Vehicle, Tree, Grass, Snow Ordinances along with a New Cop Station.
Slater feels that there are multiple Ordinances that need to be removed and should not have ever been passed.
She presented a long list of reasons she believes that the City of Gordon is out of line for enforcing their “illegal” Ordinances.
Ordinances that Slater stated are out of line include Vehicle, Tree, Grass, and Snow Ordinances.
Slater added in a few comments on her second portion of her agenda item, the “New Cop Station.” She stated that we do not need a new one, the one that is here is built well and is a strong building.
Alyssa DeHart asked Slater when she was done with her comments if since she is so passionate about the Ordinance subjects if she had considered putting together a committee to help with residents comply with Ordinances; i.e. cleaning up their yards, tree, vehicles, etc.
Slater responded Anne Liebermann is collecting information on a possible committee to help with projects like these.
The Council then moved on to the Radon Action Month Proclamation.
DeHart signed the Proclamation to help get the information out to the public about testing your home for radon.
DeHart then delivered the Department reports for the Gordon Volunteer Rescue Squad and the Gordon Police Department to the Council and the individuals in attendance.
The Council moved onto the City Manager’s Report.
Spaugh stated they discovered last summer some needed repairs to the pump and motor at the swimming pool. Those parts have been ordered and will arrive by March 1.
Candie Allison, who has served on the GVRS for the past 19 years, has retired. Spaugh thanked her for her service and leadership. It was noted that Marchelle Paul has been appointed the new GVRS Chief.
The Council then opened the floor for Public Comment.
Michael Varn wanted to speak in the open forum.
Varn commended the city employees for their great job in removing the snow around town after the recent snow storm.
The next topic that Varn wanted to discuss was some recent comments about the Gordon Police Department in the newspaper.
Varn stated he has been involved in law enforcement during his time as an attorney all across the area and beyond. He added that he has seen a lot of police departments in his time.
He added that Gordon has seen some bad departments in years previous but the current department really does a nice job and does it the right way.
A key to this success is employee retention and Varn feels like good employees need to be rewarded at budget time with correct compensation.
Varn added that he had previously attended a meeting and discussed the 48 vehicles that were in his neighborhood that would be considered violation of the Ordinance.
Those vehicles are still there and he really would like them removed, hopefully in the spring.
Joe Headrick then spoke to the Council in forum.
Headrick stated that the Council has heard his plans to re-purpose the truck stop building along the highway.
Part of those plans including a law enforcement training academy on the second floor of the building.
He would like the Council to look into this and become a location for training here in the Panhandle.
There was a very animated discussion that occurred in the gallery with everyone in the meeting room.
With no further items for discussion on the agenda, the meeting was adjourned at 7:05 p.m.