Changes to personnel policies approved by Trumann City Council

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Changes in two personnel polices, one in particular, drew much discussion during the Trumann City Council's monthly meeting Tuesday.

The change in question was to dissolve the policy stating that city employees must live within two miles of the city limits due to the rule not having been followed for many years. The new policy would set no limits to where city employees live, but an essential city employee--i.e., a department head or someone deemed essential by a department head--may take a city vehicle home up to a ten miles radius outside the city limits.

Two department heads were in attendance and told the council that a total of 22 vehicles between their two departments will qualify to be taken home. Alderman Mike Sullivan questioned the change. "Why change the policy? Why don't we just enforce the policy that has been in place for years?" Sullivan said.

Trumann Police Chief Chad Henson offered a response to the questions. "I think the two mile radius hurts the recruiting of officers from other cities. You would think putting a limit on how far you can live from the city limits would cause a mass exodus, but it doesn't all the time. I've seen where employees have not wanted to move at first but then have complied once they saw how the city was," Henson said.

"I feel if you are a city employee, you should want to live in Trumann and support the city," Sullivan said.

Henson countered with the following, "Sometimes an employee may have just built a house or their kids have just started school and are settled, and they don't want to disrupt that. There may be a potential employee with skills we would like to have in our city but will not come due to the radius situation."

After a little more discussion, and with tension in the air, the council voted 9-1 to approve the changes, with Sullivan voting against the changes.

The other change was to delete the line pertaining to sick leave pay where it states a city employee must use compensatory days followed by sick days and then vacation days to read they are to use sick days followed by compensatory days followed by vacation days.

See the full article in the Oct. 15 edition of the Poinsett County Democrat Tribune or read the paper digitally.

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