ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JERRY ENGLER
David Mayfield was named city administrator and Michel Soyez was named police chief Monday at the Marion City Commission meeting.
The action by commissioners formalized the offices as permanent after Mayfield was named acting city administrator earlier this year when Dennis Nichols left the position, and Soyez was named acting police chief to succeed Mayfield.
City Attorney Dan Baldwin said the action enables the city to offer the men employment contracts that fit within city personnel guidelines.
Commissioner Larry McLain said that naming persons “in house” saves the city time in searching for a new administrator, and both men have been doing well in the positions.
At request of the Marion City Library, the commission appointed Kurt Spachek to succeed Matt Newhouse on the library board as of Dec. 1.
Commissioner Jim Crofoot said he wanted to go on record thanking Newhouse, who is getting married, and moving to Iowa, for his years of fair service as a reporter for the Marion County Record and on various city committees.
Bill Patterson asked the commission to consider moving the tree dump on the south side of town because smoke and ash from there may be a health issue, and are messy for both homes and vehicles.
Patterson was particularly concerned about the effect of smoke on pre-school children attending classes on South Third and at Valley United Methodist Church.
Patterson suggested the city ask the county for a burn location on county grounds further south.
Mayfield said the county probably wouldn’t want such a move because it would have to build fencing, and control the site to comply with state regulations.
In response to questions from Patterson, Harvey Sanders, public works director, said the city does use a wood chipper for all but the largest stumps.
Mayfield suggested that the city may try to have a policy of burning mostly on days when there is a north or east wind that would take smoke and ash away from town.
Sanders said burning would have to go on regardless of wind direction on days when the city crew is clearing up tree breakage from wind or snow or ice storms.
Commissioners McLain and Crofoot, in the absence of Mayor Eloise Mueller, directed Mayfield to work out a tractor-rental agreement for peak cleanup times or in case of city equipment breakdown from John Deere.
Steve Wear, from Marion County Equipment, said John Deere has a program available to make a tractor for rent available on an as-needed basis by government entities without the dealership needing to pay for it on inventory. The tractor also would be available for rent by other persons or for sale, he said.
Sanders said the city crew picked up 26.16 tons of trash during cleanup week last week, plus chipping tree limbs. The crew also winterized both city parks and the library, and have been putting up Christmas lights.
The commissioners passed an ordinance allowing for the adoption of current building, electrical and sewer codes.
Mayfield said City Clerk Linda Holub and Street Superintendent Marty Fredrickson will receive training Nov. 13 in El Dorado on financial accounting, audit, financial ratios, funding options, investments, budgeting and water rate reviews from the Kansas Rural Water Association.
Holub also will go to a municipal clerks certification institute for year one in a three-year program Nov. 4-8 at Wichita State University.