The Fredericktown City Council met for a work session and regular meeting Monday at City Hall.
The Council passed a city ordinance relating to the cruel treatment of animals. The ordinance will prohibit within the city limits any act of cruelty towards an animal. Cruelty is defined by the ordinance as overwork, torture, beat, mutilate or needlessly kill or transport in an inhumane manner any animal.
Section 230.040 also makes it an unlawful act to fail to provide food and shelter, to abandon an animal, to force animals to fight for exhibition or sport upon a wager or to poison a dog.
The Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance amending the budget for operations for fiscal year 2011/2012. The amendments will redefine revenues and expenses set forth in the budget approved in October of last year and are necessary to provide for certain expenses.
An ordinance approving a plat for an addition to Emerald Bluff was approved by the council. The plat, submitted by Phillip Beyer, DO and Donald E. Middendorf, was reviewed by the Fredericktown Planning and Zoning Commission and found to be not in conflict with any city ordinance.
A resolution of support and commitment to the establishment of a handicap playground in the city’s Azalea Park was adopted by the council. The city will work with the organization Fitness For All Children Inc. to construct the addition to the park. Fitness for All Children will donate labor and materials for the site in accordance with city ordnances. The new playground, which will include a handicap restroom and additional handicap parking, is expected to be completed by December of this year.
Members discussed plans to update the city code book. A price quote from Sullivan Publishing of Manchester, Mo. was $4,176, which would amount to $18 per page. The council agreed the price was somewhat steep and will seek out estimates from other publishers.
Mayor Mark Tripp and the Board of Aldermen congratulated Floyd A. Shell Jr. on his promotion to President of the Southeast Section of the Missouri Water and Wastewater Association. Shell is currently the vice president and will take the new position in April of 2012.
City Attorney Mary Boner addressed the council regarding the wording of the city employee discipline policy. Section 4.301 of the policy states that, “No employee shall be disciplined except for violation of established rules and regulations and such discipline shall be in accordance with the procedures established by the personnel rules and regulations.”
“The sentence is problematic because it states the city shall not discipline any employee for any action unless it is a violation of an established rule or regulation,” said Boner. “So what do we do if an employee does something egregious and it is not a violation of a rule or regulation? I suggest we delete the sentence entirely or change it to something like, ‘The city will provide employees with rules and regulations establishing, in general, matters for which disciplinary action may be taken and the procedures that will be followed.'”
Boner addressed another statement in the policy that reads, “Discipline shall be, whenever possible, of an increasingly progressive nature, the step of progression being, warning, suspension, demotion and removal.” According to Boner the problem within this language is that a disgruntled employee could argue that City must demote before a termination is made. She suggested the policy should state, “The preferred discipline progression is warning, suspension, demotion and removal; however, such progressive steps are not mandatory if circumstances warrant otherwise.”