Kingston hires two part-time police officers, bringing force to 3
by Matt Shinall
Oct 11, 2011 | 1588 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kingston will see its police force swell in size with the addition of two part-time officers approved at Monday's city council meeting.

Currently staffed solely by Interim Police Chief Billy Pickett, the Kingston Police Department will gain Scott White as part-time officer and Shane Scoggins as a reserve officer working part-time on a volunteer basis.

Council and mayor agreed on the need for added police presence as Councilman Chuck Wise attested with his personal experience of theft on his property.

"I'm in agreement that we do need more police protection. A lot of people have come out and talked to me about it," Wise said. "One man can't do it all by himself."

Also up for vote was the hiring of Sidney Solomon for the position of part-time treasurer. Mayor Dexter Jones has put forth Solomon for the position in the past but it had not come to a vote before Monday. When the agenda turned to the agenda item, the measure to hire Solomon died for lack of a motion.

The council did, however, approve a measure to eliminate overtime in the maintenance department "except in case of a dire emergency until finances are restored." The issue was tabled last month due to Councilman Ed Miklas' absence. Spearheading the motion, Miklas spoke Monday on the matter.

"Right now, we have about $19,000 in our general account and about $16,000 in the water account. I mean, that's not much," Miklas said. "We need to really build up our finances a little bit better than that."

The mayor noted the city has tried to control overtime hours and that a "snapshot" of account levels is not a fair representation of financial standing. When asked, City Clerk Michele Jones replied overtime numbers were "OK" at the moment.

Other items approved Monday were the paving of Hardin Bridge Road from city limits to Main Street; hiring of three part-time, temporary poll workers for early voting; and adoption of an amendment to the intergovernmental agreement concerning county-wide emergency services radio.

Last on the agenda were the first readings of two items proposed by City Attorney Peter Olson concerning personnel policy and procedure. The first was a charter amendment clarifying language declaring the city as an "at-will" employer in coordination with standard state policies. The second proposal was an employee ordinance spelling out the process involved in hiring and firing.

The Kingston City Council will meet again Monday, Nov. 7, at 7 p.m. at city hall.