The Caraway City Council hired a new police officer, voted to pay retirement, and set holiday bonuses at the regular city council meeting held Monday, Nov. 12.
Mayor Barry Riley announced the resignation of police officer Shannon Kelems earlier this month. The council voted to hire Larry Williams of Marked Tree to fill the vacancy.
"Larry is a certified officer and qualified as an instructor," Riley said. "He is married to the former Kelly Barrett, from Caraway. Larry served as Police Chief at Lepanto before moving to Marked Tree."
"If Police Chief Pete Hicks likes him and thinks he is the best man for the job, then I think we should back him up," City Councilman Marvin Browning said.
The salary was set at $27,000, which includes vacations and holidays. The year probation period will apply.
Mayor Riley reported Jerry Brown had resigned as the city's clean-up person for city hall and the council chamber. The city will advertise for a new employee for the job that consists of two hours of work per week, with a total of eight hours per month. Minimum wage will be paid.
After a brief discussion, the council voted to pay LOFTE retirement for all full-time and part-time police officers, with a 5-1 vote. Alderman Bo James abstained from voting. Firemen are already covered with this program.
The council passed Resolution 1009-3 to pay retirement for all police officers, effective Dec.1, 2009.
Holiday bonuses were set at $500 for full-time employees and $250 for part-time. Police Officer Glenn Austin will receive $100 bonus.
The council voted to pass Resolution 2009-4 to apply for a GIF Grant to paint the water tower.
Mayor Riley briefly reviewed the 2010 city budget.
"We can look it over good and come back next month to adopt a budget," Riley said.
Alderman James requested that the city donate $1,000 to the Senior Citizen Program for their Meals on Wheels.
"We found out from our auditors that we can't make donations," Riley said. "We can pay for something that is contracted out but not donations. We always try to help out the senior citizens in any way we can, but we can't do something that is not legal."
"We give to the Relay for Life each year," James said.
"Yes, we have, but we can't do it any more," Riley said.
"Let's look at whatever we can do to help them out," Alderman Mark Bell said.
The Caraway Christmas Parade was set for Saturday, Dec. 12, beginning at 6 p.m.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, at city hall.
Following the council meeting Police Chief Hicks notified officer candidate Larry Williams he had been chosen by the council for the position. Williams informed Hicks that he would be unable to accept the position at this time. The council will review the remaining candidate applications and meet at a later date to select another officer.