Middlesboro City Council passed a motion to have direction from Mayor Bill Kelley to have all city department heads attend regularly scheduled council and sub-committee meetings.
The issue was the topic of discussion during a previous personnel committee meeting last week. The motion stated the police chief should be at the safety and finance meeting, codes enforcement at the community development and safety meeting, fire chief at the safety meeting, the sewer department head at the sewer meeting, the street department head at the street meeting and the city clerk attend the finance meeting.
One thing Kelley stated was the council may need to look at compensating the department heads for making them attend the committee meetings. Councilman Bo Greene said the council would not have a problem with it, but there are plans to research the issue.
No formal action was taken on compensation.
Middlesboro Chief of Police Jeff Sharpe stated the department heads have a good attendance record with the regular council meetings.
“We don’t dispute that we generally need to be (at the council meetings),” said Sharpe.
Sharpe said the committee meetings are new and they don’t dispute the fact they need to be at those as well. Sharpe commented the department heads don’t even have to be paid to attend.
Sharpe said the only problem has been knowing when the committee meetings are being held. He said one time he showed up on the wrong day because he didn’t know when the meeting was being held.
The council indicated they will announce the meetings at each regular council meeting.
The panel also discussed another issue during the personnel meeting last week. The council scheduled a finance meeting for Jan. 8 to discuss a possible raise for city employees. The department heads will be present at the meeting.
During this year’s budgeting process, Kelley sent out a letter that stated he would look at a possible raise for the 2013 budget. During the meeting on Tuesday, Kelley said he will need to find out what legislation will be passed involving the retirement system before he gives raises.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.