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Council reinstates standby pay for investigators

Randy Garrison

Hartselle Enquirer


After removing standby pay for Hartselle police investigators from the 2015-2016 budget, a unanimous vote by the council reinstated the benefit. During the council meeting held last week, the pay was given back to the three investigators. Mayor Bill Smelser recommended the standby pay be put back in place when investigators are scheduled to be on call.

The rate of pay will be a flat rate of $160.00 per week, which amounts to $1.25 hour for hours not scheduled to work. Call out pay of one and one half the hourly rate will be paid for actual time worked on call outs both onsite and for calls, texts and emails.

Before voting to reinstate the standby pay the council heard from Investigators Alan McDermond and Justin Barley. McDearmond mentioned that they understand they need to be on call for crimes especially robbery, burglaries, sex crimes and murders. They also take being on call very serious. Barley added that being on standby does restrict your time and all of the investigators take this seriously. He also mentioned that even if they are not called out their time is still restricted.

The investigators are currently the only city employees who are scheduled on call and according to the personnel board, employees required to be in an “on call” schedule should be paid standby pay even though it is not required of the city to pay the standby pay.

The council also passed a resolution asking the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to reconsider its decision to close the Eva Surplus Property Warehouse. The council approved a proposal from JCR Recycling Inc. for hauling and processing of recycled material, approved equipment surplus for public works so that it can be sold as surplus, and approved a budget transfer for public works from the State 4% Gasoline Fund to pay for repairs done to Fesncrest and Madison Streets.

City attorney Larry Madison recommended and the council approved terminating a contract with Judicial Services, Inc., due to the number of lawsuits being filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center against cities using the company to collect fines. Morgan County Community Corrections will take on the work going forward.

The council also announced a two-week window in which they will be taking applications to fill the council seat that will be vacated when Mayor Pro Temp Bill Smelser takes over as Mayor of Hartselle on December 1. Smelser serves in this capacity until Mayor Don Hall’s resignation takes effect on November 30.