Third city hall worker approvedRiverside council discusses city staff and worker’s compensation
It may have been with a new sense of cooperation that the Riverside City Council approved advertising for a third part-time city hall worker and a form for the city administrator’s evaluation. However, last evening wasn’t without its disagreements.
The meeting began with the council going over the expenditures with city administrator Rusty Rogerson.
Councilor Chris Kirkwood asked why the expenditures weren’t a separate bulleted item on the agenda.
“We voted last meeting to pull the expenditures off and make them a separate item entirely,” Kirkwood said.
Rogerson corrected Kirkwood on her statement.
“No, that was not the vote,” Rogerson said. “It was discussed. It wasn’t voted on.”
Kirkwood said again she thought the council had voted to change the expenditures to its own separate items on the agenda. Rogerson said it hadn’t been voted on.
Mayor Bill Poch asked for a vote on whether or not to approve the agenda and everyone voted yes.
During citizens time Diane Poch spoke to the council about the need for a third person at city hall.
“Another person part-time to answer the phones, work on water bills, be here during Lory’s [Young] training, Rusty’s training, and be here while they’re on vacation,” D. Poch said. “I can see where there’s a need for that. I really, really can’t understand why the council can’t see that.”
D. Poch said the city wouldn’t be moving forward if the council didn’t approve hiring a third person.
“It’s not like we just spend a ton of money on this,” D. Poch said. “It’s to help us move forward and not drag our feet. I think that’s what the community wants and I think that’s what the city council wants, and I’d like to see you guys accrue this part-time person so that they can get their job done and do it as quickly as possible to the best of their ability.”
B. Poch reminded the council that they had spent the previous week working on these two items in the work session. He asked if there was any new discussion or proposals before moving forward with the evaluation form.
Councilor Bob Schneider Jr. asked the council if everyone had a chance to look at the proposed draft that and if there were any comments.
“Change the evaluation period on it so that we do it after the audit,” Krikwood said. “Then it looks good to me.”
Councilor Kevin Kiene agreed with Kirkwood.
“The thing I like about it is it allows us (to share) opinions of Rusty’s goals,” Schneider said. “I think it will make our job a lot easier if we had those on them.”
Schneider motioned to approve the format of the evaluation form. The motion carried unanimously.
The next item discussed was overtime. For a couple of moments the city hall chambers were silent.
Kiene broke the silence with a question.
“Well, to start out, does,anybody have any idea roughly what we’d pay for this position?” Kiene said.
Rogerson said $12 an hour.
Schneider asked where the wages would come from pertaining to the city budget.
“That’s where I would put it if it’s approved for the remainder of this fiscal year,” Rogerson said. “Of course we’ve already approved a budget for next year. But if it’s approved and a decision is made after a few months that we want to move it somewhere else it could be part of the amendment for this fiscal year. There’s a variety of places that we could take money from.”
Kiene asked about Workman’s Comp and Rogerson said both he and Young would have to calculate that by the amount of hours the part-time person would work.
“Rusty, what kind of minimum number of hours, maximum number of hours do you think?” Poch said.
Rogerson said no more than 30 hours a week. Young said three afternoons a week is what she suggested.
“ I can understand thirty hours a week when you two are gone,” councilor Nate Kasdorf said. “We do need to find somebody that can come in and do the minimum. I’m just concerned about how much the minimum is.”
Kasdorf said he didn’t want to see the 30 hours become a regular workweek for the part-time person. He said the city would have vacation time accruing for this person because the hours would be over 20 hours and that would be another expenditure the city would have to pay for.
“Can we say an average of 30 hours?” Poch said.
Both Rogerson and Young told Poch that was too many hours.
Poch said to make it an average because there would be weeks that both Rogerson and Young would be gone and on those weeks the hours would be more. Schneider said the council should keep in mind that for a couple of months there would be training the new hire would have to do and the average hours would probably be more.
“I just want it resolved tonight,” Rogerson said. “My recommendation, you’ve had it for four weeks. I’d just like to get it resolved so that we can move on.”
Kasdorf made a motion for Rogerson to advertise for the part-time position. Everyone but Kirkwood approved the motion.
Other items discussed at the city council meeting were:
proclaiming March 22 as Captain James T. Kirk’s birthday and celebration;
Rogerson showed the council the city’s new Web site;
Larry Simon introduced himself as the new Riverside Visioning Committee chairperson. He said he sees the committee more as an advisory board that will help the community move forward;
Mike Roberts, Highland Community School Board President, spoke to the council about TIF. He reminded the council that the TIF would affect the school district as well as the City of Riverside;
Lt. Randy Tinnes gave the sheriff’s report to the council. There were 39 calls last month. Of those calls there were 20 medical, and16 citations given out.
The city council will have their next meeting on March 25 as a work session.