Other items of discussion and actions taken included:
• Approved a transient guest tax request from the Hoisington Chamber of Commerce to assist with the purchase of an advertisement in a regional hunting publication for $200.
• Approved the 2018 Budget for publication. The budget proposes a stable mill levy and no increases in utility rates. The proposed public hearing for the budget will be Aug. 14 at 7 p.m..
• Approved a request for $2,500 transient guest tax funds to assist with sponsoring Labor Day.
HOISINGTON — With three band members and one football player from Hoisington High School selected to participate in the upcoming 2017 Shrine Bowl and Shrine Bowl Masonic Marching Band, Mayor Clayton Williamson took the opportunity Monday night to issue a proclamation designating July 24-29 as Shrine Bowl Week in Hoisington. The 2017 Shrine Bowl will be played at Veterans Stadium at Butler Community College on July 29.
Council member Jim Morris presented plaques to the three percussionists, Nash Stambaugh, Braydon Williston, Hayden Gardner, recognizing them for their accomplishments. Williamson presented to Kelly and Laura Urban, parents of All Star football player Landen Urban, who was unable to attend the meeting Monday night because he was practicing for the game in Salina.
Outside employment request approved
In 2015, the city responded to a shortage of volunteer EMTs in the city by encouraging more residents to become certified and fill the roster. City Manager Jonathan Mitchell rose to the challenge and underwent the training, and later served as a volunteer EMT on a regular basis. All was going well, until earlier this year it came to his attention his daytime job was a direct conflict of interest with his side gig.
As city manager, Mitchell supervises Hoisington EMS Director Scott Fleming. As EMS Director, Scott Fleming supervised Mitchell. After consulting with the Kansas League of Municipalities and the International City/ County Managers Association, Mitchell knew he had to resign from his EMT duties, despite the fact he had trained for months in an effort to be of further service to the city.
Monday night, the city council granted him permission for him to accept an offer of employment outside his city manager’s position In order to keep those skills current, he will work one weekend a month with Midwest Medical Transport Company of Scott City.
Backing up his request, Mitchell surveyed other city workers and found several, including many department heads, hold outside employment, and it has been an accepted practice as long as they do not interfere with their positions with the city. He explained the position would be only one weekend a month, and that he would be certain to remain in Hoisington on weekends when city-sponsored events are scheduled.
While they were in agreement with granting the request, council members expressed their dismay he would not be able to continue serving the Hoisington community in that capacity, because the need for active volunteers continues to be great.
Council member Robert Bruce pointed out that while there are 23 volunteers, six of which are new, and five serve often throughout the month.
“Looking at the schedule and looking at the available people we have, we need the help,” he said.
Mitchell agreed, noting that is why the council encouraged him to start down that path a few years earlier. Still, there was no question the two positions are incompatible. But, he shared a recent statute change by the State of Kansas that allows any member of a governing body, either city or county, to serve as a volunteer EMT. If the state would change the regulations to make it so any city employee could do it, he could possibly return to serve in Hoisington.“Perhaps, to address the other issue of limited technicians, this discussion tonight will raise awareness of our need,” Mitchell said. “Maybe some of the other 18 technicians will take more calls, or tell a friend.”
City manager’s report
Mitchell had some good news to share about upgrades to the city auditorium. With the addition of the new HVAC system, the possibility of holding more events arose in June. A few weeks ago, Mitchell was contacted by representatives of a convention center that was in the process of upgrading its seating, and agreed to sell Hoisington all 135 units. The chairs are Herman Miller chairs, valued new at $225 a piece, and the city will purchase them for $25 a piece, he said. Carts are included, he said. The chairs will arrive later in the week, at which time the city will determine the best place to store them. The existing chairs will be kept for now and used when more seating is required.
Mitchell also reported on ongoing negotiations with Rotomix, complaints about pool management, and the slow but steady progress with the collection of surveys for the CDBG grant. Work is also continuing with the city office remodel, and is nearing completion.
Finally, he reported on July 31, Aug. 2 and 3, the community is invited to help build the playground at the new Lincoln Elementary School.
The meeting was then adjourned. The next meeting of the Hoisington City Council will be at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 14 at the Hoisington Municipal Complex.