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The Lake News Online
  • Lake Ozark Board debates vacation policy

  • Aldermen gave first-round approval to a revised employee policy and procedures manual that was first considered more than six months ago.
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  • Aldermen gave first-round approval to a revised employee policy and procedures manual that was first considered more than six months ago.
    City Administrator Dave Van Dee said in his narrative to the board that the ordinance addresses a holiday pay issue that was raised last January along with several other issues. Some of the changes, he noted, clarify the policy rather than substantially change the policy.
    The policy was reviewed by a specially appointed committee and was addressed in a mid-year budget amendment approved by the board Tuesday night.
    But not everyone was enamored by the revisions.
    Alderman Betsey Browning asked that wording in a section regarding exempt employees be expanded to include approval by the mayor if an exempted, salaried employee seeks time off. She argued that based on the policy’s wording a salaried employee could take time off without any authorization from a superior.
    The policy, which has been reviewed by committee three times and by the city attorney twice, generated considerable discussion.
    Alderman Larry Buschjost disagreed with Browning, saying that personnel decisions are not those of the mayor but rather the city administrator.
    “We hired a city administrator to sign off on these things and to run our city, and he should be the one who signs off,” he said.
    But Browning reiterated her point.
    “Everybody should have to answer to somebody, and the way this is worded they don’t.”
    Alderman Tony Otto said the board should follow the lead of the committee formed to make the decisions.
    “I have a huge question for everybody: Aren’t we making revisions to the policy to make it better? Why are we talking about this here when this should have been taken care of during committee, and should not have been dealt with at open session and not at a board meeting? We had this discussion long before we changed this policy.”
    The policy is better in its revised form, he said.
    “Now it looks like we did nothing and we’re arguing about the same things again,” he said.
    Alderman Judy Neels said she received the revised policy a few days before the meeting, and wanted more time to “sit down and go through it with the committee or Dave.” She said she still has questions.
    Frustrated with the progress, Buschjost reminded the board that the policy “went to a committee, to the city attorney, back to committee, then to the attorney and then to here. It went to another committee and they just quit.
    Page 2 of 2 - “I agree with Tony. Let’s do one reading, answer your questions and move on. We’ve been with this thing since January and we have employees who haven’t been paid for holidays who should have been paid. And we’re talking about wording you don’t like?
    The vote for first reading was 5-1 with Alderman Neels voting no.
    Trash
    Businesses along the Strip in Lake Ozark could be forced to remove commercial dumpsters and trash containers from city property under an ordinance that received first-round approval Tuesday night.
    Mayor Johnnie Franzeskos said there have been “a lot of problems” associated with the containers and that the city is trying to find a solution. There are at least four containers on city property, including a grease container on the street.
    Alderman Judy Neels said she doesn’t oppose the ordinance, but noted that several businesses don’t have access to off-street trash containers. She wondered if businesses might have to share their dumpsters.
    The ordinance, which will be considered for final approval at the Aug. 26 meeting, cites potential public health, safety and welfare issues for residents. The ordinance, if approved, would:
    •Prohibit the placement of any commercial dumpster or trash container on city property or city right-of-way
    •Ban any placement on curbside of any trash container no sooner than 6 p.m. the day before trash collection.
    •Require trash receptacles to be removed no later than 6 p.m. the day that trash is collected.
    •Require trash containers to be placed adjacent to but no closer than five feet of a city street and they cannot block pedestrian traffic.

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