The City of Bowman moved to consider proposals for city attorney services at Monday night’s meeting of the mayor and council. Councilman Mark Berryman told those gathered it was in the city’s best interest to occasionally review contracted services with the city, then saying he was making a motion to advertise for services for city attorney.
Berryman said all interested attorneys were welcome to apply, including current city attorney Douglas Kidd. Berryman motion stated Kidd would be retained under his current contract until a decision was reached on March 27.
Mayor Betty Jo Maxwell stated she alone could fire the city attorney, and Berryman replied the city attorney was not being fired and was encouraged to submit a proposal. Maxwell then said she had been called and asked if she would support the firing of the city attorney and that she did not think this was a good time to do so.
Berryman again said nothing in his motion stated the current city attorney was not being fired, then read Section 3.12 of the Bowman City Charter which states “The city attorney shall be appointed by the mayor with advice and consent from council members.”
Those interested must apply by 5 p.m. on March 12 by either mail or dropping off a proposal in person.
Once the deadline has passed, a committee comprised of the mayor, Berryman and Councilwoman Rachel Felice will review applications and bring no more than three names to the regular meeting on March 27, where decision is expected.
The vote was 5-0 in favor of seeking new proposals.
Bowman resident Grace Malloy asked council members to repair her road- Deer Haven Drive.
A statement was made that this had come up in the past and at that time it was determined the road did not belong to the city or county and had been originally created on private property.
A suggestion was made to provide gravel for the road, but that paving was not likely to happen with so many city streets in need of repair.
Berryman said the city could not legally work on private roads and that in order for the city to pave the road or provide gravel, it must be within the city limits and be listed on the city’s official road list.
City Attorney Kidd agreed with Berryman’s assessment but the mayor said the city should be able to do something.
Kidd was asked to research the matter further.
Bowman Public Works Director Michael Gaines gave his first report to the city since taking on his new responsibilities as the chief public works employee for the city.
Gaines told council members he had addressed a “Letter of Concern” from the Public Service Commission in reference to irregularities with the city’s gas department.
The first concern was that the last time the PSC visited to ensure Bowman had a qualified person to oversee the gas department, the city actually had none due to the resignation of former department head Charles Moon.
Gaines has since been hired to fulfill that requirement.
The Public Works Director also said the commission was concerned about issues brought up in 2015 but had yet to be addressed. Gaines said he had taken care of those concerns as well.
According to Gaines, he also sent confirmation to the PSC of the city’s compliance and stated the matter should now be resolved.
Gaines also asked council for two battery-operated devices to automatically take water samples on a weekly basis. The task is currently being performed by one of the city employees, which takes up a good part of a workday. The units will take four samples on on day.
The price for the devices is $5,400.
Gaines also asked council members to consider purchasing uniforms for the city. Gaines suggested purchasing five T-shirts each for city workers which would have a city logo identifying them as employees. A suggestion was also made to provide employees with ID badges. Gaines is to come up with proposals for the shirts and bring them back to the next meeting.
Gaines ended his report by asking the city permission to sell surplus property and use the funds to buy needed equipment. He was asked to bring a list of surplus items to the next meeting.
Joe and Maria Phillips will be bringing an old fashioned hot dog cart to the Bowman Square after city officials gave the go-ahead nod to the couple at last night’s meeting as well.
The couple plans to place the cart by the famous “Bowman Police Station” at the intersection of Highways 17 and 172. They intend to operate the cart at least four days a week.
Council members also discussed hiring Jeremy Holmes full-time rather than his current part-time hours and changing the titles for the city clerk/treasurer and assistant city clerk to city clerk and city treasurer.
No decision was reached on Holmes’ status and Kidd stated current ordinances require the city clerk to also be treasurer so no action was taken on that request as well.