Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 19, 2013

Olive Hill wrestles with attorney ordinance

Lana Bellamy
The Independent

OLIVE HILL — A city ordinance for hiring the city attorney raised questions at Tuesday’s Olive Hill City Council meeting. Members were concerned about the method for hiring and tracking work hours for a potential employee.

The council had planned to pass the ordinance, which was supposed to undergo its second reading, but the action died on the floor when members failed to second the motion.

During discussion at the conclusion of the meeting, council member Glenn Meade said a decision needed to be made about the attorney.

“I’ve called DLG (Department of Local Government), KLC (Kentucky League of Cities), and they both advised me that we need to get an attorney on board as quickly as possible,” Mayor Kenny Fankell said.

But Meade pushed for an alternate ordinance to be written that would more clearly define the terms of the attorney’s position so the city can better control his or her salary and document hours worked.

“We want to write it as an ordinance,” Meade said in reference to a question about if the city should draft a contract instead of an ordinance. “But we’re trying to get it to where they can’t just charge us what they want.”

The council agreed it wanted to assure an attorney, who would be earning $125 an hour, does not turn in more hours than he or she actually works by finding a way to write the regulation into the ordinance.

The KLC is handling insurance-related litigation against the city. The council approved the decision to ask for KLC’s assistance in drafting a new ordinance.

The council also discussed a police department report. Meade inquired about maintenance of cruisers after some with bare treads required new tires. Meade said he wanted to assure the department it can always ask for financial assistance to avoid potentially hazardous situations.

“It shouldn’t ever get to the point where it’s dangerous,” Meade said. “This city is liable for any accident, and we would be liable if we knew about any dangerous situation, so I just don’t want that to ever happen again.”

Member Jerry Callihan said the city replaced the above-mentioned tires within three weeks of a request from the department.

A motion was also approved to hire two new part-time police officers who will work less than 100 hours a month, or 25 hours per week.

A representative of Carter County Teen Court approached the council to report results of the recent graduating class and request the renewal of a $1,000 scholarship for students. The council approved the reinstatement.

LANA BELLAMY can be reached at lbellamy@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.