Beyond passing business licensing amendments (see accompanying public hearing article, front page), the Oneonta City Council acted on several personnel issues at its latest meeting. The council hired Colton Jones as a full-time park and recreation maintenance employee. Praised by most council members, Jones holds a bachelor’s degree in turf management, adding a new perspective to the department.
Firefighter Leslie Loggins presented six men for approval to the city’s volunteer firefighter program. Councilor Tonya Rogers praised Loggins for his initiative in restarting the program and noted its importance, emphasized recently to her when the city faced two concurrent fires. The six (Thomas Faulkner, Nicholas Fountain, Joseph Greenslade, Shawn Gregory, Dylan Kent, and Conner Matthews) will serve as the core for the 10 allotted slots.
Continuing the hires, the council approved its first round of part-time summer concession workers. Kayla Bell, Emma Blakely, Kaitlyn Buse, Chad Hughes, Muranda Johnson, Makayla Linn Keener, Erin Lowe, Kendall Moody, Crystal Patel, Antonio Shores, Caitlin Smith, Lilli Sweatt, Peyton Sweatt, Marie Walden, and Austin Windham comprise that group.
Mayor Ross Norris announced that long-time city clerk Tammie Noland has advised him of her anticipated planned retirement in March of 2018. She is preparing Amanda Stanfield, current administrative assistant to city manager/economic development officer Ed Lowe, to assume her role. The council voted to advertise for a replacement for Stanfield.
Members also voted to re-advertise for a human resource officer. The council created that position and advertised for it previously but never filled it. Lowe said that city regulations require reopening the process due to the date of existing applications.
In additional actions, the council declared surplus a 2005 Crown Victoria police cruiser and will make it available for sale.
The council also set a public hearing for 5:15 p.m. on Feb. 28 to consider vacating an alley off B Street between Adams and Jackson avenues.
Members reported employee Tim Moore’s completion of residential inspection certification and on mutual aid calls for the city fire department. Rogers noted Oneonta had provided 13 mutual aid calls to adjacent departments and had received 56 assists from outside departments during 2016. Library director Ricky Statham informed the council the library has received a $1,000 grant from Dollar General to assist with the library’s summer reading program.
All members (Norris, Rogers, councilors Hal Blackwood, Nathaniel Butler, Richard Phillips, and Danny Robinson) attended the Feb. 16 session, moved from the regular Tuesday schedule to Thursday. The council returns to its usual second and fourth Tuesday schedule next week at 5:30 p.m. in city hall, after the 5:15 alley vacation public hearing.