Quincy City Council hears about Prop 1
At the Sept. 3 meeting of Quincy City Council, Carl Worley’s job changed again, and city leaders heard a presentation on Proposition 1, which will be on the General Election ballot.
Council members Josey Ferguson and David Durfee Jr. were absent from the meeting.
Beginning his presentation on Proposition 1, Grant County Sheriff Tom Jones called it a “sustainable funding plan,” which is officially called the Law and Justice Sales Tax. It would lead to construction of a new, larger county jail and add funding for police in communities around the county through an increase of 0.3 percent in the sales tax.
According to GCSO handout information, the current jail frequently operates at its maximum capacity “and therefore must release misdemeanor offenders for most theft, drug and gang offenses.”
“Also, our current facility doesn’t meet state and federal mandates,” Jones said. The current jail, a 33-year-old facility in Ephrata, is undersized and has seen a huge increase in mental health needs coming in.
Jones touted the shared nature of the cost of the tax – it would not fall only on property tax payers. He detailed what the proposition would do, and talked about meeting with police chiefs at cities to discuss what they would do with the money if such a measure were supported by voters.
He said he has studied how to get a jail built since he began as sheriff nine years ago.
Jones asked for the city council to make a proclamation in support of Proposition 1.
Council members Sonia Padron, Andrew Royer and Tom Harris asked Jones questions.
The council took no action subsequent to the presentation. After the meeting, Mayor Paul Worley said he would like to see the city issue a proclamation in support of Proposition 1, as requested by Jones.
In the Mayor’s Report, Paul Worley said he had met with and welcomed new teachers at an event in the Heritage Barn, and he passed along gratitude from school district Superintendent John Boyd for the city government’s efficiency during the district’s many construction projects during the past three years.
Harris thanked police and fire personnel for their presence out helping on the first day of school. Chief of Police Kieth Siebert chimed in and said there was one lost child on the first day of school. Siebert also said he wished people would drive as safely every day as they did on the first day of school. Fire district Chief Don Fortier added similar comments.
In response to the recent promotion of Carl Worley to Public Works Director, a motion was made to fill the building post he left, Building Official, but with a code enforcement officer/building inspector position instead. The motion carried.
Later in the meeting, the council approved four resolutions, without discussion, and one of them made another organizational change affecting jobs and duties at the city. The Public Works Director position was changed, with a new name – Municipal Services Director – and expanded supervisory role. Carl Worley will now oversee public works, engineering, safety, building services, and recreation.
City Administrator Pat Haley later explained that these moves are a reorganization that helps the city cover and fill positions as needed, with added “promotion opportunities and succession planning.”
In an emailed comment later, Carl Worley stated: “I feel pretty lucky to have started as PW Utility Worker then moving into the Building and Planning Department which exposed me to a number of different areas of City Government. It has helped me (gain) well rounded experience in everyday operations of the City. Through the exposure to the construction in Quincy and planning future growth through the Comprehensive Plan it has allowed me to see the potential of the City of Quincy.”
In other business before the council, Gene Reed was appointed to the city’s Salary Commission, with his term to expire on Dec. 31, 2022.
The council also approved a motion on procedural changes, including elimination of the requirement of a second reading of an ordinance prior to approval by the council. City Attorney Danielle Marchant afterward said the first and second reading had become a formality, done in rapid succession.
By Dave Burgess, email@example.com