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City Council Votes to Convert Four Public Safety Positions to Police Officer Positions

Chief Robbie McGee congratulates Michael Allen Gregory on his retirement
The City of Union's newest fire truck

Daniel Prince

New city fire truck displayed at the meeting

At last week’s Union City Council meeting, Michael Allen Gregory was presented with a retirement award for 15 years with the Public Safety Department. June work anniversaries included Brad Gregory, 23 years with the wastewater division; Beverly Carter, 19 years as utility locator; Michael Hood, 14 years with Public Safety; Clint Smith, 13 years with the water plant; Ron Gault, 11 years with the gas division; Kyle Nance, 9 years as a firefighter; Kayla Garrett, 7 years with Public Safety; Bridget McClurkin, 6 years with the finance department; Britni Stevens, 6 years with customer service; and Kathy Teague, 6 years with the Planning Department.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Barbara Rippy thanked her council member, Ricky Todd Harris, for his quick response to concerns she had raised about property at 529 Thompson Boulevard. The property had overgrown grass and weeds, and she asked Harris to get it taken care of, so he contacted Dwayne Hardy to get the work done. She also thanked council for their work in getting derelict properties torn down, and said she was happy to have been informed that the property at 529 Thompson Boulevard was one of the next ones on the list to be torn down. City Administrator Joe Nichols stated it could take until September to get the next round of bids in and approved and for the work to begin. He said environmental studies on the next round of properties should be complete in the next week or so.

Following an executive session, in which the council discussed a retail restaurant and the sale of industrial property under economic development matters, as well as a personnel matter, council returned and voted unanimously to allow the Public Safety Department to convert four of its positions and convert them to police officer positions, rather than having them be cross-trained positions as police and fire. Chief Robbie McGee said that would make it easier for future recruitment, as it can be difficult to get people to want to do both. He said the move will not harm the city’s fire coverage, because the new budget allowed for three new firefighters to be hired. Cross-trained public safety officers only count as ½ a firefighter according to ISO, so the city will net one additional firefighter. The city’s newest fire truck came in and was parked outside Union City Hall at the meeting. McGee said it was the second new truck the city has received within the last month. They replace trucks that are nearly 30 years old.

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