Police chief position open, code officer created

By Erika Pedroza | Published Saturday, February 23, 2013

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The City of Runaway Bay will add two staff positions to the payroll following the council’s meeting Tuesday night.

After approving amendments that made a city ordinance on the police chief position uniform with a more recent personnel policy (adopted in 2010), the council approved posting the job opening.

The ordinance originally required the police chief to report to the mayor daily. Although the position is to be appointed by the council, the chief is to daily report to the city administrator (filled in the interim by Oneta Berghoefer) and to the council at its monthly meetings, as outlined in personnel policy.

The new job description also excludes the duty of serving as public safety director and eliminates required patrol hours.

The changes were discussed at a work session Feb. 13.

“It makes the two the same,” Mayor Robert Ryan said.

The position will be posted through March 22 before the selection process is initiated. Rex Richie has served in the interim since Drew Paschall resigned last year.

Later in the meeting, the council also created a part-time, contracted code compliance officer position. Because the city cannot contract past the end of the fiscal year, the position is for six months.

“That gives us time to evaluate the performance and need thereafter,” Ryan said.

The post will earn a monthly $500 salary – a $3,000 impact on this budget.

Berghoefer said she’d been in contact with someone who holds the required licenses and permits but declined to give a name.

Because the position is contracted, the city cannot stipulate the hours worked.

“They work at their own discretion,” Berghoefer said.

But the hired hand is to report to her weekly, the mayor added.


In related personnel matters, the council approved the formation of a voluntary sick-leave pool at the request of employees wanting to donate their sick days to a co-worker in need.

According to the ordinance, to use time from the pool, an employee must:

  • contribute at least one eight-hour period to the sick pool annually;
  • have exhausted all of their own approved time off;
  • be using it for personal, catastrophic ailments, not to care for a family member; and
  • not request more than 120 days a year (240 total) or one-third of the pooled time.

The pool will be administered by a committee comprised of department heads and one council member appointed by the mayor, and once time is donated, it cannot be returned. City employees get 12 sick days a year.

The city will make a one-time match of the hours donated by individual employees to get the pool started.

“I’ve had experience with something similar in the past,” Ryan said. “It’s not used very often, but when it’s needed, it’s needed.”


  • Berghoefer shared a note of praise submitted through the city’s website. A man from Temple was having trouble getting in contact with his daughter, who just moved to Runaway Bay over the weekend. So he called the police department and had them check on her. He was “very impressed with the timeline in which the response was handled.” The note continued with, “You have a wonderful community and a very good police department.”
  • Councilman Neil Peters received the green light to talk with golfball manufacturers and other companies about advertising on the city’s water tower, whichlooks like a golfball atop a tee. Although no price was set, the council discussed charging $100,000 up-front to be featured on the water tower for 10 years. “I think I may be underpricing it,” Peters said. “That money would be used to rehab and repaint the water tower and add the logo.”
  • Councilmembers awarded a $6,800 contract to Basic IDIQ to install handicapped-accessible ramps at City Hall, to be paid for with funds allocated for municipal building repairs. The council postponed a decision to install ramps at the police and fire buildings pending additional research.
  • The council approved routine items – minutes from the Jan. 15 regular meeting and Feb. 13 work session; the police department’s racial profiling report, as required by the state; and the January financials, accounts payable, activity reports and journal entries.

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