2018-04-11 / Front Page

City meeting...

sexual harassment policy conflict of interest policy new construction set

The City Council officially added a sexual harassment policy to the city’s Personnel Policy at their April 3 meeting. The council approved a first reading of a resolution adopting the policy last month at their March 6 meeting.

Presenting the resoution last month, city attorney Tommy Coleman noted the “present climate” of sexual harassment allegations.

Coleman stated in a cover letter, “we thought it might be wise to review the City’s personnel policies and make sure the City had a strong prohibition on sexual harassment and provided employees who believe they may have experienced sexual harassment with an opportunity to let those concerns be known.”

Stating, “It is the policy of the City of Blakely to ensure that the workplace is free of any form of sexual harassment, the proposed policy further states, “Engaging in any sexual harassment will be considered just cause for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.”

The policy states the City’s expectation that “all employees and council members conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times...”

It further establishes the right and procedures for reporting sexual harassment, investigation of allegations and disciplinary actions.

Another important component of the policy adopted was revisions to the city’s conflict of interest policy which states that “none of its employees or officers shall engage in any activities that place them in a conflict of interest between their official activities and any other interest of obligation.”

It further states, “Conflicts of interest require employees and officers to disqualify themselves from participating in a decision when a financial or personal interest is present.”

The policy spells out prohibitions of activities which create conflicts of interest and discusses requirements in the event of relationships between supervisors and subordinates.

Wallace O’Neal appeared before the council on behalf of Primary Care to discuss cost of moving gas and water lines at PCSWG construction site. The council agreed to share the costs.

Mayor Howard officially recognized City Marshall Jim Copp’s recent completion of POST certification.

Mayor Howard reported that a preconstruction conference had been held for the new Fire Station and Governmental Complex on Magnolia Street and USDA had issued a “Notice to Proceed.” Construction will begin April 23. The 11,000 sq. ft. complex, designed to serve the community for 40 to 50 years or longer, will primarily be funded with a low interest USDA rural facilities loan.

He also reported that necessary appraisals had been received on properties for the Gateway project clearing the way for an acquisition process to proceed.

Technology Director Matt Hammond reported BlakelyNet has 220 active customers on the system and monthly revenue is $19,000.

The council also approved an application from Jerome Johnson for a billiard license

The public is reminded the city participates in MGAG’s “Main Street Program” which provides interest free loans of gas appliances by citizens.

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