Buckley approved its new salary commission membership and the city’s new contract with the police department in a breezy 40-minute meeting last week.
On Aug. 23, the Buckley City Council welcomed three members to the city council’s revived salary commission: Sheila Bazzar, Denice Bergerson and Khohay Enos. All but Marvin Sundstrom voted in favor of confirming them.
Sundstrom said during the meeting that the city had failed to meet the requirements of state law in reviving the commission. City Administrator David Schmidt acknowledged that the city initially failed to bring the proposed salary commission members to the council, and apologized for doing so.
“(City Clerk Treva Percival) and I both missed it … we were in such a hurry to get the salary commission, because we’d been trying to get it going for years, and we had members, so we started meeting with the salary commission members after the mayor designated them,” Schmidt said. “We didn’t bring it back for council confirmation. We both missed it, and we apologize for that. It just fell through the cracks. And Marvin brought it to our attention, and he was right.”
The city wanted to rectify the matter by bringing the three potential appointees to the council that night, Schmidt clarified.
“We forgot to bring it to you guys for confirmation. … Technically, it wasn’t legal, because we didn’t get council’s confirmation. So we’re basically starting the process over again, bringing those members back to you for confirmation.”
Sundstrom also made a motion to remove Bazzar, a long time city employee who Sundstrom called an “acolyte” of the city administrator, from the appointees. But no other council members supported Sundstrom’s motion, so it failed.
The council also unanimously approved the 2023-2025 labor agreement between the city and police guild. Schmidt said he and police chief Kurt Alfano met with the police department’s guild this month and managed to finish contract negotiations in less than two hours.
The contract makes several changes. Officers have gained a federal holiday in Juneteenth (June 19) but lost one of their two floating holidays in exchange. The city’s yearly contribution schedule for each employee’s health retirement accounts is also bumped up an additional $200, reflecting the rising cost of healthcare, and work schedules will have to be posted with more time in advance — two weeks instead of five days.
The new contract also cleans up some language and makes minor corrections and fixes.
“I think it’s a good contract,” Schmidt said.
ALSO ON THE 23RD, THE COUNCIL…
• Unanimously approved a rezone of a parcel of land at 28017 112th Street East from Neighborhood Mixed Use to Light Industrial, which will allow applicant Western Self Storage to expand their nearby operations to the parcel.
• Unanimously approved the declaration of an emergency to waive the competitive bidding requirements for a public works project to repair a a water transmission main access road, which was taken out by a slide recently. With two months or so before the weather gets wet again, Schmidt said the city needs to act fast to repair the crucial roadway. Going through the regular bidding process would not leave enough time before the weather turns for the worst, potentially complicating repairs further, Schmidt said.
• Unanimously approved a $9,200 contract with Raedeke Association, Inc. for a wetland evaluation and conceptual mitigation plan at the upcoming Miller Park, which will be built on 3.5 acres between Jefferson Avenue and Rose Place.
TWO WEEKS PRIOR, ON AUG. 9, THE COUNCIL…
• Unanimously approved an ordinance amending city law with the goal of clarifying and improving the city’s code enforcement process.
• Unanimously approved a lease agreement that will allow the city to purchase and use new read meters and radios for the city’s water system. Immediately after, the council unanimously approved the purchase of 400 Sensus automatic read meters and radios, which will replace old water meters used by the city since around 1999.