By Mollie LaSalle
COLMESNEIL – Colmesneil city council members quickly got down to business last Tuesday evening at their regular monthly meeting.
After swiftly approving the minutes from last month’s meeting, agenda items were debated. First up was a discussion of the city employee personnel manual. The benefits available to part-time employees were discussed at length, with council member Virgie Sullivan doing most of the questioning about their (part-time employees) benefits currently offered.
Sullivan was questioning the removal of vacation days for part-time help; the existing manual had part-time help accruing vacation and sick days. Council members were voting on whether to leave it like it is now, or take the vacation days away, and just offer sick time, or offer no benefits at all.
“If you have nothing to offer these employees, you are not going to recruit or keep the good ones,” she said. “Anything can come up at any given time, you can get sick, your kids, husband, any kind of emergency could arise, and you can’t plan on these things.” The city is currently looking for a new assistant to the city secretary, and “if they aren’t offered any kind of incentive, they won’t stay very long”, she added.
The current starting pay for part-time (24 hours a week) is $11, with a dollar raise after a 90-day probationary period.
After much discussion about the employee manual, council voted to offer part-time help sick days, and discontinue vacation days.
The budget for FY 2021 was reviewed, and approved, with a pay raise for city employees added. There were no amended items in the budget. City Secretary Wendy Bendy commented that this year’s Fall Festival was a “huge success” and wanted to express her gratitude to everyone who helped in this endeavor.
The mayor stated that at next month’s meeting, council is planning on recognizing the accomplishments of the last two mayors, Jackie Brown and Don Baird. Brown and Baird have been invited to attend the meeting so they can formally be acknowledged for their many years of service to the city and its citizens.
The next meeting will be held on Dec. 14, and the Christmas party will be held immediately after the meeting. With no more business to discuss, council adjourned for the night at 7:32 p.m.