Mayor, council members sworn in
Emotional displays at city council meetings typically are born out of frustration. But at Monday’s Eudora City Council meeting, a change of the guard brought about emotions that were the result of gratitude.
Departing Mayor Tom Pyle’s voice wavered as he thanked the people who have meant the most to him during his last four years as mayor, as well as a combined 22 years as a city councilman.
Pyle said that though he has sat on several governing boards throughout the area, serving the people of Eudora wasthe most meaningul.
Pyle and departing council member Lori Fritzel were recognized for their service, and then incoming mayor Scott Hopson, Councilman Bill Whitten and newly elected Councilman Tim Reazin were sworn in.
After a short reception the meeting began and Hopson thanked the people who helped him win the election, and he also became choked up when speaking of his recently deceased father.
“One of the last things he told me was ‘good luck with the election,’” Hopson said.
His first act as mayor was to go into a 45-minute executive session concerning personnel with only council members and Eudora Police Chief Greg Dahlem.
The main issue before the council later at the meeting was an opportunity for the Eudora Police Department to apply for a Community Oriented Policing Services grant that would pay for the salary and benefits of new officers for 36 months. However, any officers hired must be retained for at least 12 months after the 36-month period.
In the event that the city could not pay an officer during the last year, a letter would have to be written to the COPS office giving an explanation.
Dahlem told the council that the department had been down one officer position since 2006, and paired with the likelihood that traffic would increase as a result of the Interstate 70 interchange at Tonganoxie, there would be a need for at least one more officer.
He also told the council it would cost about $3,000 to uniform an officer and provide them with the needed tools.
Dahlem proposed the hiring of three officers through the grant
Councilman Tim Reazin said he would prefer to be proactive rather than reactive when adding officers and supported the proposal.
Councilman Fred Stewart made a motion to “give Dahlem whatever he needs,” which died for a lack of a second motion.
Councilman Whitten then made a motion to pursue the grant and apply for the hiring of one officer.
The motion passed 3-to-2, with Stewart and Reazin opposing the motion.
In other actions, the council:
• Adopted ordinance 912, which put weight limits on the 9th Street bridge of nine tons, 13 tons and 21 tons as they correspond with vehicles classified by the number of axles.
• Approved the purchase of 300 tons of salt from Central Salt at a cost of $12,492.
• Approved the renewal of the Douglas County Jail inmate housing agreement. For inmates housed Jan. 1, 2009, through March 31, 2009, the rate will be $55.11 per day; $61.33 per day from April 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2009; and $67.87 from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2010.
• Approved the renewal of lease agreements for the Eudora Amateur Baseball Softball Association.
• Approved the pool concession agreement with Phil Tillman.