Cloverdale council approves payment, closing resolutions

Thursday, March 26, 2020

CLOVERDALE -- Following the lead of other municipalities, the Cloverdale Town Council passed new measures encouraging the safety of employees and residents Tuesday evening.

Town Attorney Daniel Hofmann introduced a new ordinance concerning town employees not coming to work if they are sick. Specifically, the town leadership will be authorized to prevent their coming.

The policy also stipulates that hourly employees will continue to receive pay for their regular hours, but must use sick time or personal days first. Once these are depleted, they will be compensated until they return to work.

Initially, the policy allowed that Council President Larry Fidler would have sole authority to tell employees to work from home. Hofmann said this was to ensure that such decisions could be made in a timely manner.

However, council member Gary Bennington opined that at least a majority of the council should decide if an employee comes to work, this way “everybody would know what’s going on.”

Council Vice President Greg Jay agreed, saying that this would allow decisions to be made if Fidler were ever to become ill.

With these amendments, the council took two consecutive votes and passed the ordinance.

The council also approved a resolution to officially suspend water and sewer shutoffs in light of financial hardships households may face during the declared state-wide COVID-19 emergency.

Language was added emphasizing that a 30-day grace period for payments would be given when the emergency is eventually lifted. Late fees and disconnection letters are also not to be sent during this time.

The suspensions began Wednesday and will continue until further notice.

The council also approved for the Cloverdale Town Park to be closed effective Wednesday. This resolution was amended to reflect that there is no definite deadline for when the closure would be lifted.

The last item the council addressed was an ordinance for adjusting the salaries of police officers.

This was a follow-up to the council’s approval of a pay increase for three officers, including Deputy Marshal Levi App, during its most recent regular meeting. This also included a 25-cent differential with the raises.

The initial draft of the proposal was amended to not include a uniform allowance, as it was agreed this would be discussed in the future.

Town Marshal Steve Hibler added that he was looking to structure police salaries by creating a matrix, and that he hoped that the council would take a more “holistic” look at the town’s budget soon.

The council unanimously approved the salary ordinance with the change.

Before the meeting was adjourned, Hibler said that with Cloverdale Schools’ SRO James Collings not having his regular duties, the Cloverdale Police Department was at 24-hour coverage at this point.

Board member Rick Dearwester was initially absent at the meeting, but came in during the salary discussion.

After the special meeting was adjourned, the council went into an executive session to address what was provided as being an employee issue.

The next regular meeting of the Cloverdale Town Council is scheduled for Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. in the Cloverdale Town Hall.

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