By Bill Robinson
Owners of unregistered fire or burglar alarms that falsely summon police or firefighters will have 20 instead of three days to register their systems under a new Richmond ordinance.
Second reading of the ordinance, first heard Tuesday night, is scheduled for the city commission’s March 26 meeting.
About one year ago, the city began imposing fines after a third, system-generated false alarm is signaled.
It also began requiring alarms to be registered when they are installed. However,registration of existing alarms was not required until they generated a false signal.
The revision was prompted by a citizen who complained that he received a mailed notice that penalties would begin accruing if he did not register his alarm within three business days. Those who are away on business or vacation may not be able to respond on such short notice, he said.
Richmond Police Chief Larry Brock said no one had been penalized for failing to register within three days, and neither he nor Fire Chief Buzzy Campbell would object to having the ordinance reflect actual need and practice.
During the citizen comment period at the meeting’s start, the commission received some unscheduled visitors. Members and coaches of the state champion Madison Central High School boys basketball team entered the commission chambers to a standing ovation and round of applause.
The team had already been received at the state capitol in House of Representatives and Senate Chambers, said Coach Allen Feldhaus. On their way back to Richmond, the team attended a University of Kentucky men’s basketball practice and were address by Coach John Calipari.
Mayor Jim Barnes, who identified himself as a 1963 MCHS graduate, said, “Without question, you have made our community proud.”
However, the mayor, who also said he had watched all of their Sweet 16 games, told the players their three close, come-from-behind victories had “aged me by about five years.”
The way the players conducted themselves on and off the court, especially the way they had refused to be discouraged after falling behind, was inspirational for everyone, Barnes said.
“You all have inspired me to be a better mayor,” he said.
If they continue on their paths of achievement, the players someday could be sitting in the mayor’s or a commissioner’s seat, Barnes told the teenagers.
City Manager Jimmy Howard reported that he and Barnes, along with the heads of the parks/recreation and the building/grounds departments, met with Richmond Little League officials to address concerns about ball-field maintenance they had expressed at the commission’s Feb. 26 meeting.
Both sides had come away satisfied with the outcome, Howard said.
The city purchased one new piece of equipment and would purchase another, including a light-weight vehicle, that would not damage fields during routine maintenance, he said.
Howard also said he would present an order for approval March 26 naming Erin Moore parks and recreation manager. Moore had been the senior administrator since the retirement late last year of parks/recreation director Kevin Gorman, but her title had remained assistant director. Howard also said he wanted city departments to start being called divisions and their heads to be titled managers.
Howard also reported that the 2-percent raise granted city employees late last year would cost the city an estimated $242,000.
The commission amended the city budget to reflect increased expenses of nearly $135,000.
Commissioner Jim Newby asked that the commission consider having a parliamentarian sit in on some of its meeting. The mayor said City Clerk Lisa Cassity is the city’s official parliamentarian, but the Kentucky League of Cities will soon conduct a parliamentary procedure training class for city officials in the near future.
In other business, the commission:
• Appointed Brian Kirby to a four-year term on the board of adjustments
• Re-appointed Jon McChesney to the parks and recreation board
• Accepted the resignation of Public Works Department employee Christopher Burns
• Transferred recycling center employee to the buildings and grounds department where he previously worked
The commission also hired eight seasonal workers for the parks and recreation department.
They are: Paradise Cove concession manager Tonya Estes, $9.35 per hour; for Adventure Falls, manager Langdon Barnes, $8 per hour; assistant managers Emily Eckler and Lyndsey Koepke, $7.50 per hour; workers Chris Conner, Matthew Houston. Haleigh Morris, Ashley Parke and Anita Pinuer, $7.25 per hour.
A delegation of students and officials of National College presented the city with the college’s distinguished employer award.
They mayor also proclaimed March as American Red Cross month on behalf of the local Daniel Boone Chapter.
Bill Robinson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 624-6690.