OAKLAND CITY — In an effort to help retain and recruit future police officers on the Oakland City force, Mayor Hugh Wirth asked Tuesday that the town be able to provide Central States Insurance to the eligible members.

Wirth said this would hopefully help keep a more balanced, full-time staff of officers. It would also cut down on the expense of training that comes along with a cycle of officers entering and leaving.

The full-time officers would join a pool of about 200,00 additional rate-payers which Wirth said should keep the rate as stable as health insurance can be right now. The Central States plan is offered to workers covered by Teamsters Local 215 other local government entities across the county.

"Everyone knows it really is a tough issue for everyone. It doesn't matter who it is," he said. "What we're providing now is just not measuring up to what we expected it to do."

The Board of Works and Public Safety agreed to offer Central States Insurance, and it should become available in early March.

Phil Young, parks director, presented the board with a request to start repairs totaling $1,100.70. The majority of that would go toward six picnic tables totaling $558. Some tables currently in use need to be thrown away and others need updates.

"They did this last year at the start of the year and (the tables) look great," he said.

Other work will include making sure storm doors for the bathrooms are up to code for the state and repairs spread across the park.

"I'm just asking for approval to get started on that," he said. "April and May are going to get here soon enough."

The request was tabled and then approved during the full council meeting.

Building inspector Butch Corn asked to update the process associated with nuisance violations. "As you know, we have repeat violators on both grass and trash," Corn said. "Not just one or two times, but sometimes it's several times, especially on the grass."

Corn said when he does not find someone at a residence, he drafts a letter that informs them of the offense, date of abatement before a possible fine, a copy of the city ordinance and the time of appeal available if a fine does occur.

"I would like, if it's alright and legal, to put in the letter something like 'This will be the only notice you receive. Any future violations will go before the Board of Works at the next meeting, and you shall be given like time to appeal,'" he said. "I just don't like writing them two or three letters whenever they've got a copy of the ordinance the first time and they know what the ordinance is."

Attorney Jason Spindler said the town could move forward in the fashion Corn proposed, but it would have to be one notice per calendar year. Meaning, a letter sent for offenses in 2019 would not be a substitution for a letter in 2020.

In other business addressed Tuesday night:

  • The council elected Charles Cochren as 2019 council president.
  • The Board of Works agreed to re-instate utility clerk Tracy Powers into the Local 215 Union. Wirth said it was a union position at one time and it's in the best interest to have it be so again.
  • Mayor Wirth announced his 2019 appointments. Pat Vinnedge and Linda Richardson will remain on the Oakland City Board of Works, Tim Gaines as Police Chief, James Deffendall as Fire Chief, Jason Spindler as city attorney, Phil Young as Parks Director, Charlie Cissna as New Lake Park Manager and Darrell "Butch" Corn as building inspector.
  • Tom Rohl, an officer with the Oakland City Police Department, turned in his two-week notice of resignation. His final active day will be Jan. 14 and his last official day is Jan. 16. The Board of Works agreed to advertise for both a full-time and part-time officer position, with a 30-day window for applications.

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