The Mansfield City Council met in regular session on Thursday evening, November 19. Members of the council present were Sheri Hopkins, Beverly Lyons, Julie Thomas, and Jan Carlton. Councilmen James Steele and Bobby Musgrove were absent. Also present, Mayor Buddy Black and Recorder/Treasurer Becky Walker.
After approving the minutes and financials, the council heard the city services reports.
Fire Chief Michael Smith presented his report, noting that his department had a total of 30 calls, three fire and 27 EMS. Additionally, that he had done one fire inspection at Right of Passage. Smith stated that the department concluded their year with 439 calls, 58 of those were fire calls, and 381 of them were EMS calls.
Next, Public Works Director Joe Manes presented his report. Manes stated his department performed 112 service orders, repaired two water breaks, installed one water tap, repaired several air relief valves, and had to manually bleed off a large amount of air on Tut Hill Road and Wildwood Road due to malfunctioning valves.
Mansfield Police Chief Wayne Robb presented the council with his report, noting the total calls for October in Scott County included 10 citations and 14 violations. In Sebastian County, two citations and two violations. There were a total of 25 calls, 12 agency assists (five in Scott County and seven in Sebastian County), three school calls, four incident/arrest reports, one accident report, 81 total traffic stops, 66 warnings, two drug arrests, three adult arrests, and two animal calls. The department had a total of four training hours.
In matters of unfinished business, the council voted unanimously to approve the purchase of insulated bib overalls and coats for the public works employees. Additionally, the council discussed the Hartford sewer meter but took no action on the matter.
In items of new business, the council voted to approve the 2022 contract with the SRCA (Senior Center).
Additionally, tentatively voted to raise all employee pay, a 4% raise for wastewater operator Tony Gregory, and 2% for all other employees. Mayor Black presented the proposal and noted that he had not included himself in that proposed pay raise. The council, however, voted unanimously to include him.
“The council tentatively approved an increase in pay for city employees, however, I will be proposing a more fair and equitable plan so that all employees will receive the same dollar amount instead of a percentage,” noted Black following the meeting.
The council voted 4-2 to raise the council members’ pay from $595 per year to $200 per month. This increase in pay will also be paid to the mayor, city recorder/treasurer, and city attorney. Voting for the motion: Hopkins, Lyons, Carlton, and Thomas. Voting against: Steele, and Musgrove.
”This (council member) pay scale is in alignment with cities such as Booneville, Greenwood and Waldron,” added Black.
Next, Black sought a motion to increase employee bonuses for 2021 only. The council voted unanimously to approve the year-end bonuses for full-time employees to $350 and part-time employees to $200.
In the last item of business on the agenda, Mayor Black announced the upcoming tree lighting ceremony to be held Friday, December 3 at 6 p.m. Also, the town’s annual Christmas parade to be held on Saturday, December 27 at 2 p.m., with beans and cornbread served at 11 a.m. There will be prizes for the three best floats, drawings for turkeys and hams, and a drawing for a Blackstone Grill donated by Chambers Bank. This year’s theme is “Gingerbread Village.”
With no other items of business, the meeting of the Mansfield City Council was adjourned.