Mayor's Facebook Post Leads to Disagreement at Taylor Mill Meeting
Mon, 11/13/2017 - 07:59 RCN Newsdesk
A Facebook post by Taylor Mill Mayor Dan Bell led to tension at last week's city commission meeting.
In the October 17 post on his official mayoral Facebook page, Bell celebrated the hiring of retired police officers at the Taylor Mill Police Department, a move that he said brings experience and fewer costs associated with pension contributions. He also said that he was joined in voting to make the change in allowing the hiring of retired officers by commissioners Mark Kreimborg and Dan Murray.
But he left out commissioners Sarah Frietch and Phil Peace.
Frietch took exception to that on Wednesday.
An edited post by Mayor Dan Bell now includes Frietch's name
Frietch said the only time that this commission voted to hire a retired officer was in September, and Frietch made the motion to apporve the hire and voted yes, as did Commissioner Peace.
Caught by surprise, Mayor Bell at first defended his post, which he said his daughter helps him with on Facebook, but Frietch and Peace said the post was inaccurate.
In February of this year, Police Chief Steve Knauf talked about the retention of three retired officers that were hired in 2016 , saying he wanted to hold onto the retired officers but they were being courted by other departments, since having retired officers meant a considerable savings to a police department since cities no longer had to contribute to the officer's retirement.
Knauf proposed at the time that the city give the officers a one-time raise of $5,000 and an extra week vacation to match other offers. Commissioners reluctantly voted to give the extra incentives to keep the officers, but Commissioner Peace voted against it.
After Wednesday's meeting, Bell realized that it was that February vote that he was remembering, and he acknowledged that he had made a mistake. He said the point of the Facebook post was to highlight the savings of nearly $76,000 by hiring retired officer.
In the meeting, Commissioner Kreimborg said it was simply a Facebook post, not an official city site, and a lot of things get posted on Facebook and the commission should get on with its business.
But Frietch was offended by the innacuracy and wanted Bell to correct the post, which he later did.
Kreimborg again interjected that the city should move on, and said that this kind of confrontation only embarrasses the city.
Bell said that he wished she had come to him earlier and he would have corrected it.