Today is Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Public Works denied help

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By BEN DUDLEYThe Wilson Post

Lebanon City Council turned down a request from Commissioner of Public Works Jeff Baines to hire a part-time employee and one full-time employee during the regular meeting on Tuesday night.

Another part-time worker was hired, however.

The part-time employee that was hired was to be an entry-level “street worker” whose main responsibility was the chipper service. Councilors Alex Buhler, Kevin Huddleston and William Farmer, of Wards 1, 2 and 3, respectively, all voted against this while the other three voted in favor. Mayor Philip Craighead broke the tie in favor of the hire.

The next item was to hire a part-time worker to write electrical permits, which Craighead said would lighten the workload for the other office workers in that department and fill in when someone got sick or went on vacation. The vote failed 5

Craighead added an item to the agenda asking for the hire of a full-time heavy equipment operator for the Street Department since one had resigned on Monday. The ordinance was tabled by vote of 5-1, meaning that it can only be brought up again for consideration by one of the five who voted to table the measure.

Baines and Craighead both pleaded with the council to support the hires, saying that after the recent layoffs, they needed the help.

“We need these part-time workers so that we can continue to offer the citizens these services at the quality they deserve,” Craighead said. “We’re not asking for much.”

“You should be able to do the work with the employees you have,” Buhler said. “You can shuffle people around. People can help out with other jobs that may not be their own. It’s called good management.”

Prior to the meeting, Craighead removed two items that would rescind all money and support for CoreTech since the city had received a letter that day from CoreTech President Greg Quinn saying that the company would no longer seek to move to Lebanon. Craighead then added a revised resolution that would rescind support from CoreTech with the reason being that they pulled out. It passed unanimously.

In other business, the council supported the Fasttrack Infrastructure Development Program Grant Application for Permobil. Chuck Boyett, City/Utilities engineer, said that they had talked with the state and had been told that since Permobil did not need all of the grant money for their project, the city could use the remainder for the local match on what he referred to as the “Barton’s Creek project.”

There was also talk of revising the employee handbook at a future work session to further get a handle on the city’s workers and the use of their time. A date for the session was not set.

Staff Writer Ben Dudley may be contacted at

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