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Fort Wright Councilman Steps Down, City Seeks Replacement


Ft. Wright city councilman Mike Hoerlein resigned from his position after applying for a full-time employment position with the city.

On Monday, the city council hosted a special meeting to accept Hoerlein's resignation.

He has applied to work in the city's public works department. Since he can't be both an employee and member of council, Hoerlein resigned by letter on Friday.

Mayor Dave Hatter said that the city has made a conditional offer to Hoerlein for employment.

With Hoerlein's position now open, the city is seeking applicants for a replacement. Candidates must be at least 21 years old and a resident of the city. Resumes can be submitted along with letters of intent to the city building by July 12. 

Interviews will be conducted about a week after that deadline.

Council has thirty days to select a replacement after the resignation of one of its members.

Hatter said he is confident that someone will be in place by the regular August city council meeting.

In other business at the special meeting, city council adjusted the city's vacation time policy. Some employees were concerned about losing time.

Currently employees accrue vacation time and can bank it, because it has no expiration date.  In the new policy, all employees will have a use it, or lose it option, which means there will be no banking of the vacation time after July 1, when the new fiscal year begins.

The new vacation time will be compensated on a pro-rated basis.

"I don't decide on this, but my contribution is that the new rules should not be punitive, and should be something that does not discourage new hires," said Hatter.  "The major thought here should be how to keep good people, and how to hire more good people."

City Administrator Jill Bailey researched the policies of other cities and came up with the changes that she proposed. 

Some discussion was held about what to do with employees who are too busy to take their vacation time, and since the city is hiring enough people to cure the under-staffing, council thought it might make conditions easier enough that the salaried employees would be able to take their vacation time.

The vacation changes were adopted.  

Council also agreed to pay out the approximately $70,000 owed to employees under the previous policy.

The city is also looking to replace a fire pumper. Fire Chief Steve Schewe said the current pumper is 37 or 38 years old and its tank is leaking.

Money is earmarked for a replacement in the new budget, and council said that a new pumper would be purchased as soon as possible.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor