The Mansfield City Council met in regular session on Thursday evening, December 17. Council members present were: Rick McDaniel, Sheri Hopkins, Beverly Lyons, Julie Thomas, and Dave Johnson. Jan Carlton was absent. Also present, Mayor Buddy Black and Recorder/Treasurer Becky Walker.
After approving the minutes and financials of the October and November meetings, the council heard the city services reports.
Public Works Director, Joe Manes, was not present. Mayor Black read the following report: performed 121 work orders, made a sewer line repair at 105 North Main, cleared a bad sewer plug at North Hills Apartments, changed the #2 SBR pump at the sewer plant, repaired the hydraulic line on the trash truck, and repaired dumpsters. The council reviewed a proposal by Manes to purchase a mini lift 4-wheel drive truck. The council voted to approve the purchase of the 2006 Suzuki, contingent of a warranty, for $11,200.
Fire Chief Michael Smith presented his departmental report, noting there were a total of 39 calls, five fire and 34 EMS. He stated that things had picked up, and that they ended the year with a total of 50 fire calls and 221 medical calls. Smith informed the council that both pumper trucks had air leaks, and needed repair. Also that the rescue unit is having a fuel rail issue. Lastly, that the roof over the bay area is still leaking on the north wall. In total, Smith has worked a total of 198 hours for the month.
Police Chief Wayne Robb presented his departmental report, stating they issued 26 citations in Scott County and 20 in Sebastian. Also one misdemeanor warrant issued in Scott County, and four misdemeanor warrants in Sebastian County. There were 48 total calls, with 16 agency assists, 10 in Scott and 18 in Sebastian. There were three school calls, 13 incident/arrest reports, three accident reports, 131 traffic stops, 90 total warnings, one DWI arrest, three drug arrests, and 28 animal calls. In total the department had 540 hours of training.
City Attorney Matt Ketcham was present and spoke about his proposed contract with the city. Ketcham stated that he had never had a contract since his start with the city in 1997. He agreed to write up a letter of understanding to be revisited every year.
In matters of unfinished business, the council voted to approve the 2021 budget. Additionally, to approve the salary increases as proposed, and to hire a part time assistant water clerk.
In the last item of unfinished business, the council discussed the annual retired elected officials pension increase. The city attorney presented the council with various ordinance options. Those included setting the increase anywhere from zero to three percent, correlating the pension increase with social security increases, or his recommendation of correlating the raises with the CPI, or consumer price index. Former Mayor Glen Hurt was also present and addressed the council. After a lengthy and contentious exchange, Lyons proposed to enact Ordinance 2020-6, tying the pension rate increases to the CPI, up to three percent annually. McDaniel seconded the motion. Voting for: Hopkins, McDaniel, Lyons, and Thomas. Voting against: Johnson.
In May of this year, the council voted 5-1 to nix the increases. –See related story
In matters of new business, Mayor Black presented Councilman Dave Johnson and Librarian Anna Carter with a certificate of appreciation from the city. Johnson has served on the city council since February 2003. Carter has served at the Mansfield Public Library since June of 1994.
Next, the motion was made to pass Resolution 2020-6, authorizing the city to purchase a police vehicle. That motion carried unanimously.
The council voted to table the next item on the agenda, the revision of a policy put in place in September of 2006. According to those meeting minutes “there would be allowances made for the elderly and/or handicap” when the council voted to implement rural water users reading their own meters.
Before adjourning, Mayor Black thanked all who participated in the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and the Parade of Christmas.