MASON — A difference of opinion regarding the interpretation of a text message led to the verbal resignation of a part-time Mason police officer at Thursday’s town council meeting.
Patrolman Dave Hardwick said he was ready to return to his part-time position after being released from Workers Compensation following a double knee replacement. He claimed a text message from Chief of Police Jimmy Reynolds did not tell him when he was placed on the schedule.
Chief Reynolds claimed he did tell Hardwick that he was on the schedule and the officer failed to show up for his shift twice.
The mix-up occurred when the chief offered Hardwick a Saturday shift and Hardwick answered “ok.” The chief said Hardwick should have known to show up the following Saturday. Hardwick said he expected to receive a specific date that he was placed on the schedule from Reynolds.
Following an extended argument, Hardwick gave his verbal resignation. The council later entered into executive session on the matter, but no action was taken upon council’s return to the regular meeting.
Council members voted to pay 100 percent of the premiums for health insurance for four full-time employees in 2017. It was noted that the remaining full-time workers had access to health care through other means. Mayor Donna Dennis said the insurance will cost $20,400, but the town is expecting a tax credit of $7,500.
Kathy Elliott of Region II Planning and Development Council attended to request drawdown number seven on the water project in the amount of $412,598.64. The funds will be used to pay invoices from Stonegate Construction and Triad Engineering. The drawdown was approved.
Elliott and Mayor Dennis explained to the council that the water project is behind schedule. The project’s water tank portion must be completed before any other work is finished. The temperature must be 40 degrees or above in order for the tank work to be done.
Mayor Dennis asked that residents be patient on the concrete work that is still needing done, as well as any water leaks residents are experiencing near their property.
Elliott also updated the council on the upcoming wastewater project. Mayor Dennis said under the wastewater project, a two-bay heated garage with showers will be built. The garage will hold the new town truck, as well as the mini-excavator that is being purchased through the water project.
In other action, the council:
Agreed to pay “Santa” $100 for his appearance following the parade;
Discussed the need for more frequent trash pick-up at the park;
Discussed the need for remodeled restrooms at the park, with the mayor noting the portable toilets have been removed for the winter;
Set the third Thursday of the month council meeting to 1 p.m. until June 30, 2017, with the first Thursday of the month meeting remaining at 6:30 p.m.;
Set a mandatory employee meeting for Dec. 12 at 1 p.m.;
Agreed to allow the mayor and police commissioner to meet with Police Chief Reynolds (no specific topic given); and,
Approved the minutes of the previous meeting and the invoices to be paid.
Attending were Mayor Dennis, Recorder Ciji Casto, and council members Bob Wing, Sharon Kearns, Marty Yeager, Emily Henry and Becky Pearson.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.