Feb 122013

By Naomi Hatch
“We don’t want to micromanage day to day operations,” Taylor Mayor Fay Hatch said at the Feb. 6 town council meeting, but noted that council members need some kind of say regarding the hiring and firing of department heads, “or what are we here for?”
The mayor was referring to an amendment to the town code clarifying the procedures for appointing or dismissing appointed officers (department heads).
Council members met with Town Attorney Sterling Solomon previously and he subsequently drew up Ordinance No. 2013-01, which was on the Feb. 6 agenda for first reading.
Councilman Gary Solomon said that the ordinance reflected what had been discussed at the meeting, except it didn’t mention hiring.
The town attorney explained that the state statutes gave the council authority to appoint.
“If you want it amended to be appointed or hiring of, that can be changed next time,” he said referring to the second reading, which will be held at the March 5 council meeting.
Councilman Alan Ramage asked if the council could appoint a representative to serve on the hiring board rather than require approval by the whole council.
The town attorney explained that under the proposed ordinance, it would require council approval in a public meeting like the one they were attending.
“When we discussed this last time, the language said at least let the mayor know, and because of what’s happened in the past, I think we need to do that,” said Councilor Solomon.
“This would change that. It would come to the council,” explained the town attorney. “This says demotion or dismissal, do you want me to add hiring, too?”
“Just department heads,” responded Mayor Hatch.
The town attorney was asked to add hiring of department heads to the ordinance prior to the second reading in March.
In other business, Kayde Wilkins of Hancock & Leavitt Insurance Company asked that the firm be allowed to make a proposal when renewal comes up for the town’s general liability, property and casualty service, as well as health and benefits insurance.
Town Clerk Kelly Jones noted that Taylor is still under a three-year contract for health insurance.
Wilkins gave several reasons why the town should not use the Risk Pool, and will submit a proposal to town staff.
The kennel permit ordinance must go to the Taylor Planning and Zoning Commission for approval before the town council approves or disapproves it, the town attorney explained. The ordinance was slated to be heard by the commission on Feb. 12 and come before the council on March 5.