The Greenfield City Council meeting conducted on Jan. 7 settled several housekeeping issues, but began with commentary by resident Joe Lepore.
Lepore commended the city’s Public Works Department for winter storm maintenance, calling their plowing efforts “outstanding.” He said that the crew, under the direction of Greenfield Public Works Supervisor Jeremy Ketcher, met the needs of snow removal timely during recent, and significant, snowfalls and that he was personally aware of follow-up passes that helped improve the roads in the aftermath.
Lepore’s second comment had to do with the city’s website. He relayed his frustrations over a lack of information, including on council meeting times and dates, approved meeting minutes and audio recordings of meetings. Lepore told the council that he’d been unable to attend some of the more recent meetings and had tried to catch up on the council’s actions during that period of time. He also stated that he was unable to find, definitively, if the council was meeting on Jan. 7.
Resident Carol Beasecker echoed Lepore’s assessment of the website, adding that, in the past, the city has tried to make residents aware of the website as a place to find information on a number relevant items and issues, something that would require more frequent updates.
The city is also in the process of hiring a new city administrator. An interim administrator is in place until the position can be filled.
Beasecker also told the council that she’d become aware of a lead regarding a restaurant in a neighboring community looking to relocate, with a proposed site having just fallen through. Beasecker suggested the council take a proactive approach and engage the proprietor in a conversation about moving to Greenfield, potentially to a site adjacent to the Subway site on the northeast corner of Highway 55 and County Road 92. The council appeared amenable to Beasecker’s suggestion.
With annual appointments on the agenda for this first official meeting of 2014, Councilor Mark Holten initiated a discussion regarding the reappointment of the city’s professional service providers, notably the attorney and engineer. He suggested that the council consider using a more formal process including requests for proposals rather than automatic reappointments.
Greenfield Mayor Brad Johnson told Holton that they could approve reappointment and go out for bids on any of the positions at a future date if the council chose to. The city’s current attorney, Jeff Carson, was appointed two years ago after a break in service to the city that interrupted more than 20 years of service.
The council voted unanimously to approve the reappointments.
The city’s acting mayor for 2014, the councilor that would assume Johnson’s duties if he were unable to fulfill them, is Councilor Mike Erickson. Erickson is serving his second four-year term on the council and is its senior member. His bid for acting mayor was unanimously approved.
Several of the council’s committee assignments were rotated as well for 2014 to, as Councilor Chuck Alcon advised, “best utilize strengths.”
Alcon will continue as the Street Department liaison with Holton joining as an alternate. Erickson and Johnson will now be on the Employee Review Committee. Alcon will join Holten on the Finance Committee. Erickson remains on Fire Service, joined by Councilor Tom Cook. Cook remains on the Pioneer Sarah Creek Watershed Commission. Alcon and Holten will continue to represent the council in regard to the Highway 55 Coalition. Johnson will remain the Northwest League representative.
PUBLIC WORKS ACQUISITIONS
Ketcher presented proposals for two pieces of equipment for public works. The council had toured the department’s quarters and had some familiarity with the equipment in question, including its need and use.
The council approved the purchase of a refurbished power washer for approximately $4,000. The major purpose for this piece of equipment is to clean city equipment and vehicles. The previous power washer was purchased more than 20 years ago, and the department is currently using one that belongs to Ketcher’s brother.
“He’s a nice guy,” Ketcher explained, getting a laugh from council and audience members.
Ketcher also proposed purchasing a portable generator that could be used in the field for maintenance, repairs and community events at the city’s new park. The estimated life of a generator is up to 20 years. The proposed cost for the generator is $950 and was approved unanimously after a lengthy discussion. The city has sufficient funds budgeted to cover the purchase of these items.
The next regular meeting of the Greenfield City Council is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at 6390 Town Hall Drive.