The Richmond Register

Local News

February 5, 2013

In 3-2 vote, commission refuses to override city manager

RICHMOND — The Richmond City Commission split 3-2 Tuesday afternoon in a vote not to override City Manager Jimmy Howard’s decision changing the work schedule of the city’s vehicle maintenance garage.

Commissioners Donna Baird and Robert Blythe joined Mayor Jim Barnes in upholding the city manager’s decision. First-term Commissioners Laura King and Jim Newby voted to override Howard.

About a year earlier, the city manager had directed the garage work from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. instead of the previous hours of 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. During the hot summer months, however, the garage had returned to the earlier schedule to take advantage of the cooler morning hours.

The issue had been discussed at the commission’s Jan. 15 work session and Jan. 22 regular session.

Greg King, who’s in charge of the maintenance garage, spoke at both meetings saying he believed the later schedule was inconvenient for the police department, leading to postponement of vehicle maintenance. Also, when departments that begin their days at 7 a.m. need help starting a vehicle, they must wait until the maintenance crew starts work, he said.

At the Jan. 22 meeting, Police Chief Larry Brock said his department was not neglecting vehicle maintenance. They are inspected regularly, he said, and his officers file monthly reports that include number of miles driven.

“We have no complaints,” Brock said. “We get our vehicles down there (to the maintenance garage) whenever they need it.”

Laura King, who asked Greg King to discuss the issue for the public on Jan. 22, forced a vote Tuesday.

The issue was on the meeting’s initial agenda but was crossed out after King said she was led to believe votes could not be taken during work sessions.

However, she moved the issue be put to a vote after an order on the agenda raising the pay of Human Resource Director Jessica Masters was voted on.

After Newby seconded King’s motion, Baird asked, “Is that something we can do?”

“We can do anything we want,” King replied.

Asked for an opinion, City Attorney Garrett Fowles said setting work schedules was normally the city manager’s responsibility, but the commission has the power to override his decisions.

Barnes said the commission should be cautious about making decisions that under the city manager/commission form of municipal government are normally left to the city manager.

“We can’t be having orders (voted on) every time we disagree with a decision by the city manager,” the mayor said.

When the roll was called on King’s motion, she and Newby voted in favor, with Baird voting “no” and commenting she would not override the city manager on such matters.

With everyone expecting Barnes also would vote against the motion, the room grew quiet as Blythe’s name was called. The silence intensified as Blythe paused for several seconds before speaking.

He had been sitting in the room when the city manager first informed the commission he was changing the maintenance garage’s schedule, Blythe said.

“I won’t go against Mr. Howard,” he said, and then cast a “no” vote.

Barnes said he was opposed to voting on issues during a work session except on urgent matters.

Acting to raise Masters’ salary was urgent, the city manager said.

“I know you don’t want to (vote in a work session) and don’t like to, but I’m asking you to,” Howard said.

The human resource director, who was hired  in January 2012 at a salary of $40,000, had been offered a new job that she had to accept or reject before the commission’s Feb. 12 meeting, the city manager said.

The proposed order would raise Masters’ salary to $50,000. According to the Kentucky League of Cities, the position’s salary range for cities from 20,000 to 99,000 population was $32,760 to $89,904, the order noted. Since Masters was hired, the order also stated, the city’s payroll function, including supervision of two employees, had been transferred from the finance office to the human resources office.

“If we lose (Masters), we probably can’t replace her with someone as good as she is,” the mayor said, adding she was underpaid compared to comparable staff with other cities.

The same could be said for most other Richmond employees, Laura King commented.

Prior to the meeting, commission members had been provided with a list of municipal salaries furnished by the League of Cities.

Blythe moved, and Baird seconded, to end discussion and put the issue to a vote, and all five commissioners agreed. They then all voted in favor of giving Masters the raise.

These were the only two issues brought to a vote Tuesday. For a report on other issues discussed Tuesday, including restoration of city employees’ longevity pay, reopening of Fire Station No. 5 off Duncannon Lane and televising of commission work sessions, see Thursday’s Richmond Register.

Bill Robinson can be reached at editor@richmondregister.com or 624-6690.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • May 30 last school day for students

    After 16 snows days and two weather delays this winter, the Madison County School Board decided Thursday to end the school year on Friday, May 30.

    April 19, 2014

  • 4-19 TechExtra1.jpg Students showcase projects in Technology Extravaganza

    Madison County School students showed off just how tech savvy they can be during the district’s sixth annual Technology Extravaganza on Thursday at Madison Central High School. After the showcase, more than 350 students were honored for their work.

    April 19, 2014 7 Photos

  • 4-19 SchoolBoardJesseWard.jpg Ward honored for service; tech center named after him

    Retired Madison County educator Jesse Ward was recognized Thursday for his many years of service. To honor him, Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the board’s decision to rename the district’s technology training center on North Second Street in Richmond the Jesse P. Ward Technology and Training Center.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Brian Smith.jpg Berea man indicted on 24 child porn counts

    A Madison grand jury has indicted a Berea man on 24 counts related to child pornography.

    Brian J. Smith, 26, is charged with four counts of distribution and 20 counts of possession of matter portraying sexual performances by a minor.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-19 Gregory Powell.jpg Police apprehend burglary suspect

    An observant witness was able to help Richmond police catch a burglary suspect shortly after a break-in Thursday afternoon on Savanna Drive off Berea Road.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18 PackTrack1a.jpg Walkers, runners of every age ‘Pack the Track’

    Waco Elementary and Model Laboratory schools students raised more than $8,000 (and counting) for the annual Pack the Track event at Eastern Kentucky University’s Tom Samuels Track Thursday, said Kim DeCoste of the Madison County Diabetes Coalition.

    April 18, 2014 14 Photos

  • 4-18 George WilliamsWEB.jpg Suicide attempt fatal for inmate

    A Todd County man died Tuesday at a Lexington hospital following a suicide attempt at the Madison County Detention Center, according to Madison and Fayette county officials.
    George Kenneth Williams, 50, of Allensville, was transported Monday afternoon by Madison County EMS to Baptist Health Richmond, according to EMS Director Jimmy Cornelison. He was then transferred to Baptist Health in Lexington where he died Tuesday, according to the Fayette County Coroner’s Office.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCDW instructor indicted on charges of failing to provide training

    A Madison County grand jury has indicted a carry-concealed weapons permit instructor on charges he falsely claimed to have provided instruction to one person for a CCDW permit and provided incomplete training to three others.
    Christopher D. Fins was indicted April 9 on one count of CCDW instructor not providing firearms training and three counts of providing incomplete firearms training.
    Fins faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of all four felony charges.

    April 17, 2014

  • EKU dorm sprinklers may have been activated maliciously

    Fire-suppression sprinklers went off about 2:30 a.m. Thursday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Martin Hall dormitory, prompting its evacuation.
    Fluctuating pressure then caused a campus water main to break, according to EKU spokesperson Mark Whitt.
    The cause is uncertain, but university officials are investigating to determine if the sprinklers were activated maliciously, Whitt said.
    The residence hall houses 260 students who were placed in other university housing or stayed with friends. All were able to move back in later in the day, he said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Sixth person charged in motel meth bust

    A sixth person has been charged in connection with a methamphetamine-making operation discovered last week at the Bel Air Motel in Richmond.
    Roger M. Million, 24, Moberly Road, was charged Wednesday with manufacturing methamphetamine.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

Yes.
No
     View Results