New city council members take seats
New city administrator attends first meeting
The Tonganoxie City Council has a new look.
On Monday night, new members Jim Truesdell and Jason Ward were sworn in, as was incumbent Steve Gumm, who returned for a second term after being voted in again April 5. Truesdell and Ward were elected to fill vacancies left by Kathy Graveman and Emmett Wetta, who opted not to seek re-election.
Monday also marked the first council meeting for new City Administrator Mike Yanez. Mayor Dave Taylor swore all four men into office and presented them with city pins.
Before the new council could proceed, two pieces of old business needed attention from the old council.
First, the council voted unanimously to approve a wage of $11 an hour for part-time police officers. The previous wage was set at $10.71. Graveman was the only council member not present for the final meeting of the outgoing council.
The second item required more discussion. The council was asked to approve a resolution to give employees 4 percent merit increases. For employees who had worked less than a year or recently were promoted to a new job within the city, the increase was 2 percent.
The new council approved the measure, and Velda Roberts was the only member to vote against it.
"Whatever anyone calls it, this is not a merit increase," Roberts said.
At the request of the council, Yanez will present a revised pay plan to the governing body, although he said it will take roughly three months to gather information and present it.
In other business, the council:
- Approved Sundance Apartments be built at the same time roads and other infrastructure items be constructed. The city requires that infrastructure be built before building permits are issued. But the apartments, which will be a low-income retirement community, need building permits before the end of the year so tax credits can be awarded from the state. Building the infrastructure first wouldn't allow the developer, Oakview Construction Inc., to meet that deadline. The apartments will be constructed in the Stone Creek subdivision.
- Approved the planning commission's recommendation for Joel Skelly to replace Jim Truesdell on the planning commission. Truesdell left the commission to serve on the city council. Skelly will complete Truesdell's planning commission term, which expires next year.
- Selected Velda Roberts as council president.