City of Bigfork
City Council Special Meeting January 26, 2010 6:00 p.m. City Council Chambers
Members Present: Mayor Roger Logdahl, Linda Koppelmann, Amy Pifher, Mike Stevens and Bob Zimmer
Members Absent: None
Also Present: Streets Commissioner Gene Rajala, Gene Collins, Gus David, Public Works Superintendent Chuck Almhjeld, Howard McKinney, City Attorney John Licke, Police Chief Jon Babcock and City Clerk/Treasurer Michael McKinney
Logdahl called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
Resolution 2010-02 Establishing 2010 Appointments
Logdahl read the potential changes to the resolution, which included the following:
1. Replacement of Mike Stevens with Robert Zimmer as Acting Mayor 2. Listing Richard Salmi as a temporary appointee to the Airport Manager position until permanent appointee named 3. Appointment of Richard Salmi to the Planning & Zoning Commission as an alternate 4. Appointment of a new member to the Personnel Committee to replace Joey Jacobson 5. Possibility of adding members to the Budget Committee in 2010; changes could also include addition of Public Works Superintendent Charles Almhjeld and Police Chief Jon Babcock in a voting or non-voting capacity 6. Assigning City Clerk/Treasurer Michael McKinney to the Joint Powers Board as a member and assigning Mayor Roger Logdahl as an alternate to that Board 7. Elimination of the Safety Committee 8. Elimination of the Bigfork Wilderness Celebration Committee
Logdahl noted that Hiram Gene Ward expressed interest in the Airport Manager position. Pifher asked if it was possible to appoint co-managers for the airport. Logdahl noted that Richard Salmi could be an alternate manager and that there should not be more than one person in any position.
Logdahl felt that Howard McKinney could be appointed to the Personnel Committee. Stevens noted that McKinney would not provide a constructive contribution to the Committee.
Zimmer asked if the City needed a Personnel Committee. Logdahl felt that the City Council did not have time to assume some of the Committee’s responsibilities. City Attorney Licke noted that the City did not need a Personnel Committee since the ultimate supervisory authority rests upon the Council. He noted that some communities have personnel committees for specific tasks such as labor negotiations. He also noted that most communities do not have citizen members on their personnel committees.
Stevens noted that the Personnel Committee does not often see eye to eye with the City Council and can create more work for the Council if the Committee makes bad recommendations. Logdahl felt that the Personnel Committee was valuable since it allowed for more debate on issues.
Pifher asked why the Personnel Committee had to have five members. Stevens noted that this was done make it easier to have a quorum.
Zimmer felt that it might be better to abolish the Personnel Committee until it’s needed. Stevens felt that the Committee had value since it addressed minor items like timecard approval but felt that this responsibility could be accomplished with two elected members.
City Attorney Licke noted that membership is typically made up of a mayor and a council member.
Motion by Zimmer, no second, to reduce the Personnel Committee to two members, including the Mayor and one City Council member, motion withdrawn.
Logdahl noted that there is no guarantee that the members will make every meeting and that having more members is a better option. He noted that Howard McKinney is a taxpayer in the community and would be a valuable addition to the Committee.
City Clerk/Treasurer McKinney read the current description of the Personnel Committee’s responsibilities. Pifher felt that performance reviews and investigations of misconduct should be handled by the City Council.
Motion by Logdahl, no second, to appoint Howard McKinney to the Personnel Committee and to review the Personnel Committee’s membership and responsibilities after 3 months, motion withdrawn.
Motion by Stevens, no second, to appoint Gus David to the Personnel Committee, motion withdrawn.
Point of order raised by Pifher regarding audience interruption.
Licke noted that the Council did have employee and public input and should ask the Personnel Committee how they felt about their membership and responsibilities.
Motion by Pifher, second by Stevens, to table appointments to the Personnel Committee and have the Personnel Committee review its membership and responsibilities, MCU.
Regarding the Budget Committee, Logdahl noted that department heads are asked to provide input on their budgetary requirements and would like to leave their role as one of a non-voting status. City Attorney Licke noted that department heads can act in an ex-officio status where they can participate in a meeting but do not have voting rights. Pifher felt that Gene Rajala was a valuable member of the Budget Committee.
Motion by Zimmer, second by Logdahl, to appoint Howard McKinney as a voting member of the Budget Committee and Police Chief Jon Babcock and Public Works Superintendent Chuck Almhjeld as ex-officio members of the Budget Committee, motion carried with Koppelmann and Stevens opposing.
Regarding the Safety Committee, Logdahl suggested that it would be best to absorb its responsibilities into the Emergency Management Committee.
Regarding the Acting Mayor position, Logdahl felt that he would like to see other members have a chance to serve in the position. Stevens noted that he did not oppose the idea of bringing someone else into the position. Zimmer stated that he did not have interest in assuming that role.
Pifher asked what would happen with the Commissioner positions. Logdahl felt that the Commissioners do function as an extra set of eyes for the City and that the positions should not be eliminated due to one problem. Stevens added that most of the Commissioners were functioning well and that the City should deal with each individual on their own merits.
Regarding the Board of Health, Pifher noted that Dr. Scrivner would not continue his tenure on the Board. She felt that it might be a good idea to add a representative of the Ambulance Service to the Board. Logdahl felt that the Board could remain at two members.
Logdahl noted that the City should plan to have an Identity Theft Prevention meeting sometime in 2010.
Motion by Zimmer, second by Stevens, to approve Resolution 2010-02 as amended, motion carried with Pifher and Koppelmann opposing.
Review of Police Department Job Descriptions and Staffing Needs
Logdahl outlined the potential staffing options for the Police Department. He felt that the City needs to evaluate its law enforcement needs. Koppelmann felt that the City should not eliminate the Police Department. She also felt that the City should maintain the Officer position but leave it unfilled and work with the Police Chief to find out what the Police Department needs are. Stevens noted that he found that having one police officer would be acceptable. Logdahl felt that the City could get by with one part-time police position, depending on coverage otherwise from the County Sheriff. He also noted that an opportunity for hiring someone for additional police coverage still exists.
Logdahl felt that the City should consider scheduling a police position to 10 hours of School Liaison time and 16 hours of patrol time. He also felt that it is important to have night and weekend coverage and that police personnel can respond to the school in case of emergency.
Stevens asked if the Personnel Committee could handle any negotiations regarding the Police Department.
Motion by Koppelmann, second by Pifher, to leave the Police Officer position unfilled and to enter into closed session, MCU.
Closed Session for (1) preliminary consideration of allegations of misconduct made against individuals subject to the City Council’s authority and for (2) employment negotiations involving an individual subject to the City Council’s authority
Motion by Stevens, second by Koppelmann, to adjourn, MCU. The meeting was adjourned at 10:36 p.m. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
Michael McKinney City Clerk/Treasurer