New mayor packs agenda for change
If you attend Coulee Dam’s council meeting tonight (Wednesday, Jan. 8) you better take your “No Doz” pills, not because the meeting will be boring, but because it will be long.
Council members used to short agendas and short meetings will have to muscle up for this one.
Tonight is Greg Wilder’s first meeting as mayor of Coulee Dam, and, true to his word, he plans to change the direction the town is taking.
From hires, sewer rates, salaries, and the welcome of public input, there are a lot of changes in store, outlined in a thick council information packet.
The new agenda format allows for two times during the meeting that the public can have input.
In a proposed hiring plan, Wilder outlines a 24-hour-a-week utility and office clerk at $39,186. The position had been proposed in the 2014 budget as a full-time position.
The town clerk position, outlined in the 2014 budget at $72,972.38, was called “fiscally irresponsible” by Wilder who now proposed a five-step salary scale beginning at $47,628 a year and maxing out in step five at $55,600. A salary schedule of Washington towns of population of 1,000 to 1,600 residents shows that city clerks in most towns are paid substantially less that the practice at Coulee Dam.
Wilder was faced Jan. 1, in taking over the mayoral chores without either a utility clerk or a town clerk, both of whom had resigned prior to his taking over.
After some tinkering of the salary schedules of town employees, Wilder shows a savings of $3,780.63 for 2014.
Wilder also will advise the council tonight that he will enter into an agreement with Elmer City’s town clerk, Renee Tillman, to fill in as city clerk/treasurer on a short-term assignment until a permanent clerk can be hired.
Residents may be happy to hear that Wilder is proposing that sewer rates be reduced and an $11 rate increase in 2014 not be made. The 2013 sewer rate was $59, and his proposed 2014 rate of $56 is a reduction from that.
In addition to all the changes being proposed, the council will have before it a resolution honoring former Mayor Quincy Snow for his 16 years as mayor and for his earlier service on the council.
The resolution reads: The Town Council and Mayor, on behalf of the citizens of Coulee Dam, acknowledges the exemplary 4-term dedication of Mayor Gayland “Quincy” Snow for his unselfish and committed service to the Town of Coulee Dam and its people.”