Board OKs termination, suspension at meeting

Published 5:00 am Monday, August 9, 2004

Personnel matters highlighted a recessed city board meetingFriday as aldermen voted to terminate a city cemetery employee andsuspended a city firefighter without pay for two weeks.

The meeting was held mostly in executive session due topersonnel reasons.

Following the closed session, aldermen voted 4-3 to terminatecemetery employee Hosmer Cameron because he had been deemed to beat fault in two accidents within the last year. A city policy saysan employee may be terminated if he is ruled to be at fault in twoaccidents within a five-year period.

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Aldermen Les Bumgarner, Don Estes, Tom Smith and Buddy Allenvoted in favor of following city policy regarding accidents.Aldermen Dorsey Cameron, Terry Bates and Mrs. Jerry L. Wilsonopposed the motion.

Following the termination vote, aldermen voted unanimously tomandate city employees undergo driver safety training after oneaccident. The training would be at the city’s expense.

“This is serious with employees losing their jobs because ofaccidents,” Cameron said.

In another personnel move, firefighter Dedrick Brown wassuspended without pay for two weeks, beginning Aug. 16, forexcessive tardiness to work. Aldermen also approved bringing Brownbefore the board to discuss the seriousness of the matter.

The vote on the suspension was 4-1-2, with Wilson and Smithabstaining. Their votes were counted with the majority, leavingEstes as the lone dissenter.

Wilson said she would favor a one-week suspension while Smithsaid he did not necessarily support the motion but could go alongwith it. Estes had no comment on his reasons for opposing theaction.

Also, aldermen voted to hire James Paul Griffin to oversee theinmate ditch cleaning program. Griffin will work up to 24 hours aweek, at $10 an hour.

“We’ll try to get him started as soon as we possibly can,” saidMayor Bob Massengill.

In other business Friday, aldermen voted to have Massengillwrite a letter of endorsement for Freedom’s Answer. Freedom’sAnswer is a youth voter registration effort to get 25 millionpeople to vote in the upcoming election.

The city approved spending $10,000 for clearing and grubbing ofthe recently-acquired Fender property. The estimate for the work is$30,000, and the city will ask the county and IndustrialDevelopment Foundation to each contribute $10,000 for the activity,Massengill said.

In transportation matters, aldermen approved the city paying foremployees’ commercial driver’s licenses (CDL). The board included astipulation that the employee reimburse the city is the workerleaves within a year after getting the CDL.