Archive for Thursday, September 21, 2000

City replenishing municipal work force

September 21, 2000

City Superintendent Bill Harlow is steadily replenishing the municipal work force since his job was eliminated, then later reinstated in May by the Eudora City Council.

Harlow's in the process of hiring replacements for city electric foreman Delbert Breithaupt and electrical worker Jeff Schmidt, who resigned their positions following Harlow's dismissal.

"I have hired one, and three are on the hook," Harlow said about the hiring process.

One of the three prospective employees could start work in October, Harlow said.

The superintendent eventually wants to have six electrical workers for two three-man crews, with Eldon Brown, Eudora electric department head, at the helm.

The electrical workers are responsible for maintaining power within the city limits and problem solving in that capacity.

"We have some of the finest equipment you'd want," Harlow said. "We just have to find people to work it."

There are qualified power linesmen in Kansas to hire, especially in the west, but the hard part is enticing them to the more expensive living areas of Douglas and Johnson counties.

"Some of them have a wife who stays home with children and are living in areas where they pay $175 to $200 a month rent for a halfway decent place," Harlow said. "We're asking them to move to an area where the cheapest (rent) is $450 and it's not in the best shape."

The city council has helped in the past two months by adding incentives to the job, Harlow said. "They (also) are doing their job and taking care of the people here."

Two operators and a contract supervisor have been hired for the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the city is in the process of hiring a water distribution employee.

"We're in no hurry, we want to make sure we have the right people for the job," the superintendent said.

Harlow came to work for Eudora two years ago as city superintendent. He had worked for the city from 1978 to 1990, before he went back to his hometown in Lucas. It was his love for the city and a job offer from Mayor Fred Stewart that enticed him back two years ago.

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