By Naomi Hatch
“I was recently approached by a member of the public about volunteering and found out that no, you can’t be doing anything in our right-of-way because we can’t be liable,” said Taylor Town Manager Gus Lundberg told the town council Oct. 23.
Lundberg explained that while attending the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Conference he was able to visit with officials of the risk pool, who reminded Lundberg that the town does have the ability to utilize volunteer labor, but must do it in the correct manner, which is by covering volunteers with Workers Compensation.
He suggested that the town adopt a resolution stating the salary equivalency and number of authorized positions for volunteers for the purpose of determining Workers Compensation benefits.
In response to a question posed by Mayor Fay Hatch, Lundberg explained that for the volunteers working on the rodeo grounds, the town must be sure they are keeping track of them.
“We will be doing what we can, and make sure there’s an understanding to the public that they need to go through our channels and get permission, and make sure we know about it,” said Lundberg.
He further noted that the value of a volunteer for Workers Compensation is $200.
“Whatever we do, I would suggest that we never discourage anybody from helping out,” said Vice Mayor Shawn Palmer. “The volunteerism in this town is incredible.”
Palmer moved to approve a resolution stating the salary equivalency and number of authorized positions for volunteers in the Town of Taylor for the purpose of determining Workers Compensation benefits, amending the number of volunteers from 20 to 100.
The motion passed unanimously.
In other business, Lundberg recalled that during budget discussions, council members had expressed a desire to not pay the $5,700 dues to the Arizona League of Cities and Towns. He noted that there were times when he has reached out to the league officials and they have been very willing to address the issues. He said that he realized that not everything across the board is presented the way town officials may feel, but he felt that the work the league has done to keep state shared revenues, and in preserving the resources of cities and towns, is worth the dues.
The mayor said he did not agree with the league’s views on Second Amendment rights.
“I know that they have a couple of play days, to me that are kind of a wasteful deal, but I think they are highly beneficial,” said Vice Mayor Palmer. “I love it when people go to the meetings and report things they learned.”
During budget hearings a councilman asked if they would use personal funds to pay the dues, and Palmer said he would like to answer that. He said that looking at how beneficial the league is to the town, if it could be that beneficial on a personal or family level it would be worth it.
It was suggested by Councilman Carl Cosper that if the council didn’t agree with the league on an issue, they should voice their opinion. It was agreed that they would.
A motion to approve payment of the annual league dues passed unanimously.
By Naomi Hatch