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Still no city contract for temporary director

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By Becky Barnes

 

A week into a 60-day unwritten agreement between the City of Cynthiana and former Economic Development Authority director Darlene Bussell and there is still no contract.

Commissioners met Tuesday and discussed a preliminary draft prepared by city attorney John Lair. However, there remained a stumbling block over how Bussell would be paid, her duties and if there should be a contract.

Initially, the commission agreed to pay Bussell for 60 days of a $43,500 annual salary after her contract was not picked up by the  Harrison County Fiscal Court.

However, Mayor Steve Moses said Tuesday that she had actually been approved for a 50-cent raise by each of the city and county governments would which raise her 60-day salary from $7,250 to $7,423 and be retroactive to July 16.

The mayor asked that commissioners agree to pay Bussell on the 15th and 30th of each month. Since the commission does not meet again in regular session until Aug. 13, he asked that she be approved for her first paycheck.

However, there was concern about paying Bussell without a finalized contract.

“It’s not a good thing to have someone who is not an employee or on contract,” Lair told commissioners.

He said the four duty areas that were included in the preliminary contract included Bussell’s continuance to seek grants and incentives for a new industry and for the enlargement of an existing industry; to continue developing the economic development website with Bluegrass Area Development District, to complete the hotel/motel study; and to follow other duties as directed by the city commission.

Commissioner Roger Slade suggested that she also report to the fiscal court and Economic Development Authority any progress.

Commissioner Jack Keith added that she should also keep the commission updated through Commissioner of Finance Billy Grayson.

“I’m not satisfied with what I’m not hearing,” said Keith. “I want to know more about what’s going on.”

Lair agreed to have a draft ready for commissioners to review by noon on Wednesday. A special meeting will be held at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday to discuss and consider the contract for approval.

“I have a problem with back-dating contracts,” Brunker said. “Not just this one, but any. I understand that Darlene Bussell has done some work and needs to be compensated.”

Lair said if after the 60 days the commission wants to continue the relationship with Bussell it needs to establish a position within the city and hire her as an employee.

In other business, the commission:

•Promoted John Green and Stacey Stanley to telecommunicator III.

•Heard a presentation from Suzanne Buchanan with Federated Transportation Services of the Bluegrass.

•Approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign a memorandum of agreement for grant money to complete the interior trails at  Flat Run Veterans’ Park and for additional development within the park.

•Agreed with a four to one vote that Brunker should be appointed to a Planning and Zoning task force to develop a text amendment for the Business Park.

Moses opposed the appointment stating that he wanted P&Z to appear before the entire commission to discuss the changes.

Brunker countered that the task force would be making a recommendation to the commission and that the task force would not be making final decisions.

•Agreed that a 2001 Ford Crown Victoria former police cruiser would be declared surplus property and advertise for bids for its sale.

•Heard Slade report that plans for street improvements would be finalized this week.

He said there is an issue with some of the streets having too many layers of asphalt and some milling will have to be done.

 •Heard Slade report that the Art Walk is Saturday.