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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Council approves new ordinances Topics include use of city vehicles, social media and city collector

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Staff photo by Lecia Forester Kennett Police Department Captain Steve Cook, right, gives his report to the Kennett City Council, including members, from left, Gerry Duncan, Bill Palmer, and Bobby McMahon, during the meeting on Tuesday.
During Tuesday evening's city council meeting, members approved the passage of three ordinances that were discussed at the previous council meeting on Sept. 18.

Briefly discussed at the last meeting was a proposed policy change on the use of city vehicles. Mayor Jake Crafton had noted that the information included in council members packet came from a policy that was in place for City Utility. It was noted that this would include a verbal okay from a supervisor, and that no one could ride without permission. This included official use only, with no personal use of the vehicle. Official business would include an allowance where there had been an accident and law enforcement officials were giving the individuals involved a ride home.

Terry McVey, city attorney, brought to last night's meeting an ordinance which was approved by the council, amending Section 9-017 of the Personnel Manual of the city. A fourth sentence was inserted which read "no riders allowed in City owned vehicles (spouse, child, friend, relative, etc.) unless authorized by the supervisor or person acting on behalf of the supervisor. This has placed a greater risk of liability on behalf of the city."

Upon its passage, the ordinance is in full force and effect immediately.

Also passed was an ordinance amending the Personnel Manual of the city which would include a social media network policy.The social media guidelines for employees include the following:

* Employees are not to post any comment or picture which involves an employee, council member, patron, citizen or volunteer of the city "on the job" or at city sponsored functions without the city's written consent;

* Employees who are evidently affiliated with the city should mention that the remarks made on the web only reflect his or her own views and are not necessarily the opinion of the city or other employees of the city. However, based on the needs of the city, an employee may be counseled to refrain from commenting on work related matters even if they note that the views are entirely their own;

* Employees conduct can reflect upon the city and are encouraged to excercise good judgement when using web communications;

* Employees may be subject to discipline including dismissal if they make defamatory, obscene, libelous, or offensive statements pertaining to City employees;

* Employees will not provide any confidential or private information about the city or employees;

* All of the city policies that regulate off-duty conduct apply to social network activity which includes but is not limited to, policies related to illegal harassment, code of conduct and nondiscrimination;

* The city logo cannot be used without prior written permission from the city;

* Any questions about these guidelines, employees may meet with their supervisor.

* No information will be shared as a result of an employees employment with the city;

* Employees are prohibited from posting photos that were taken while on duty. Examples include auto accidents, fires, crime scenes, etc. The photos are property of the city even if they were taken with a personal camera or phone;

* No work related comments or material can be posted while on duty or from a city owned machine unless permission were obtained from the department head.

It is noted that in the policy it states that employees who are authorized to respond on behalf of the city to social media sites constitutes a form of communication subject to the provisions of the Sunshine Law. It is also noted that nothing in this policy shall be interpreted to infringe upon the right of any off-duty employee from commenting on a topic or topics of public concern.

The last ordinance passed was changing the position of City Collector from an elected one to an appointed one. The mayor would appoint an individual with the consent and approval of the majority of the council members.

It was also previously discussed at last month's meeting that there needed to be a consistent policy for all departments to follow concerning when the United States flag should be flown at half-mast on city owned flag poles. Fire Chief John Mallott drew up a policy regarding this practice and presented it to the council. Council members voted their approval on the following:

* Presidential Declaration- U.S. flags on federal and public meetings would be flown at half mast for a given period of time due to the death of a recognized individual or due to a significant event that has occurred and should be honored.

* Governor of the State of Missouri issues a declaration-All U.S. flags on state or other government or public buildings are to be flown at half mast due to the death of a state recognized individual or if a significant event occurs withing the state that has occurred and should be honored.

* Kennett Mayor declaration or order- All U.S. flags on city or local government buildings are to flown at half mast for a given period of time as issue by either the President, the State Governor, or due to the death of a current city employee, a city elected or appointed official, retired city employee, past elected city official or a significant event within the City of Kennett that has occurred and should be honored or as otherwise directed by the Mayor of Kennett.

For a retired or past elected city official, the U.S. flage will be flown at half mast the day before their funeral and shall be raised to full staff just after the interment the day of their funeral or as otherwise directed.

Members also ratified the purchase of a new septic system at the dog pound.

During the work session there was discussion about changing the hours of operation for arcades, bars, and dancing establishments. McVey, along with council members, agreed that 1:30 a.m. would be a reasonable time to close up shop. He will have an ordinance ready for the next council meeting and members will then vote on it.

Other items discussed in the work session included the following:

* Hiring of an Animal Control Officer-Council members approved with a vote of nine to one the hiring of a part-time humane officer for $9 an hour. It had been previously discussed of hiring someone full time but Mayor Crafton noted that due to budget constraints, it would be wise to hire someone part-time.

* Hiring of Police Officer- Council members approved advertising for a police officer. At the present time, the department is down two officers.

* A date concerning annexation strategies will be discussed at a later time. Mayor Crafton is looking into the best time to schedule this meeting and will contact council members when a time and date is scheduled.

During the police report, Captain Steve Cook noted that the Kennett High School Homecoming will be held this coming Friday. The west side of the courthouse will be blocked off as well as some streets off St. Francis and St. Francis from the West Y.

Officers responded to a total of 879 dispatched calls resulting in 221 reports being filed. Four injury accidents were investigated as well as 16 non-injury accidents, and 11 private property accidents for a total of 31 accidents during the month of September. There were two reported curfew violations for the month of September. Part-time dispatcher Matt Wilson attended a 40 hours training at Troop E Headquarters for certification on the M.U.L.E.S. system.

There were 85 traffic stops during the speed grant, 22 during the DWI grant for a total of 107. The total arrests made for crimes committed in September of 2012 were 57, warrant arrests were 56 for a total of 113.

Randy Carter, street commissioner, reported that the department had been busy at the Industrial Park Retention Pond, digging it out so it will hold more water. Dirt that has been dug out has been given to CLGW to help the department in their repair of some culverts in the city.

"Barney" is out of commission due to some needed repairs which include a partial rebuild of high pressure water pump, replacement of two hydraulic control valves, and a new muffler custom made for diesel engine that powers the vacuum portion of the truck. Carter noted that repairs are going to be done locally.

Carter noted that he is still checking into the possibility of the city obtaining an enhancement grant regarding the biking/walking area that has been proposed.

Fire Chief John Mallott, in his talk to the council, thanked Keith Westerfield of the Street Department, for his help in constructing a trailer that can be used at the fair in case first aid is needed. He also noted that the department has been trying to obtain a grant to purchase a fire safety trailer. There is one available through a bid from a department on the border of Kentucky and Ohio. The current bid is $2,600. Mallott noted that the Firefighters Association will put up $1,200.

Mallott asked permission of the council to bid up to $3,800, if needed. After a brief discussion, council members granted their approval. Mallott added that it could be put to good use locally citing that it could be used for educational purposes, educating the young about fire safety. The city has currently been using one from Poplar Bluff, Mo., when needed.

The next council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 16, 2012.

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