By Nick Worth
The Holbrook City Council renewed the contracts for City Manager Ray Alley and Police Chief Mark Jackson, and approved an amendment to each Tuesday evening.
The council, missing members Wade Carlisle, Bobby Tyler and Charles Haussman, added an amendment to Alley’s contract with the city which states he is allowed to purchase no more than 80 gallons of fuel per month for the personal vehicle he uses for city business.
“I’d use the same amount of gas in a city vehicle,” Alley said. “I choose to use my own vehicle because of my tools. It’s better equipped.”
The council went on to approve a third week of paid vacation for Jackson, up from two weeks. Jackson had asked for more vacation time in his two-year contract.
Alley remarked to the council that department heads need the time off from work and Councilman Phil Cobb agreed, citing the stress that often comes with those positions.
“It’s essential people in those positions have enough time off,” Cobb said.
The vote was unanimous.
In other action Dec. 10, the council:
* Heard a report from Alley in which he updated the council on the status of the Tesla electric car charging station and the Tractor Supply store.
According to Alley, a new roof has been put on and HVAC units have been installed in the Tractor Supply building, which is the old Bashas’ store on Navajo Blvd.
“They have been in contact with me,” Alley said. “I’ve seen the plans, but they haven’t paid a fee yet.”
He said the same holds true for the Tesla charging station.
Alley went on to report that street department workers are working on weed abatement and cleaning up alleys around town. The crews are also doing crack sealing work on the streets near the LDS church, and will start tearing down the old house next to the senior center in order to make a park.
* Appointed Councilman Richard Peterson to the Holbrook Volunteer Fire Department Pension Board.
Fire Chief Cary Simpson told the council that while reading through the bylaws for the board, they discovered a provision that the mayor, or his designee, was to be a member of the board. Simpson asked for Peterson’s appointment because of his background in finance.
* Approved a request by Jackson to let one of his officers who lives in Joseph City drive his patrol car home after his shift.
“Current policy does not allow this,” Alley told the council. He then cited the safety factor of a faster response time should the officer get an emergency call.
“It would just be until we get back up to a 15-man police department,” Alley said.
Councilman Myron Maxwell said he would like to revisit the issue in six months, and Alley said by that time, the three cadets the department has ready for training should have been through the police academy.
Peterson said he would be in favor of it as an emergency measure and noted the presence of a police car in a neighborhood can act as a deterrent to crime.
Mayor Jeff Hill then made a “one-time motion” to allow the officer to drive his patrol car to Joseph City after his work shift with a six-month time limit.
“This has a sunset,” Hill said of the action.
The council approved the motion unanimously.
* Tabled an agenda item regarding the McLaws Road project at Alley’s request.
Alley told the council the project was originally to put a paving cap on the road and the estimated cost to the city was to have been $690,700, with matching funds from the Northern Arizona Council of Governments.
Now the project has changed to possibly requiring a complete rebuild of the road.
“If so, it will be way above our local share,” said Alley. He then asked for the item to be tabled until the actual financial cost to the city could be determined.
* Approved claims payments totaling $164,288.97.
* Approved a claims payment to Walt’s Hardware totaling $569.32.
By Nick Worth