ROCK SPRINGS – Pay raises and starting the search for Rock Springs City Council replacements top the city council meeting agenda on Tuesday night.
After the passing of Councilman Glenn Sugano and Councilman Chad Banks leaving for the new director position at the Rock Springs Main Street/Urban Renewal Agency, the council will declare vacancies in Ward II and Ward IV.
After declaring a vacancy, the council has 15 days to meet and fill the opening. There also must be a full council at the vote and it is done by secret ballot. The governing body will nominate qualified individuals to replace Sugano and Banks.
1-403 Vacancies: Manner of Filling Vacancies.
a. A vacancy in the office of the mayor or councilman exists whenever any of the following occurs during a mayor’s or councilman’s term of office: i)A failure to fulfill residency requirements as required by Rock Springs Municipal Ordinance 1-401.
ii)A conviction for a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude or constituting a breach of his oath of office.
iii)Any other occurrence specified in W.S. §22-18-101(a).
b. The governing body shall by resolution declare a mayor’s or councilman’s office vacant whenever sufficient grounds exist pursuant to (a) above.
If a vacancy is known to occur at a future date, the governing body may choose a successor prior to the date of the vacancy, although the successor shall not be appointed until a vacancy is declared by the governing body.
Council vacancies shall be filled by appointment of the governing body after the office is declared vacant. The governing body shall meet within fifteen (15) days after declaring an office vacant to appoint a successor.
Each member of the governing body may nominate an eligible person to fill the vacancy. The nominee who receives a majority of the votes shall be appointed to the vacancy. No vote shall be taken unless all members of the governing body are present.
Once nominations are received, all the members of the governing body shall vote by secret ballot until the two nominees receiving the greatest number of votes are selected, unless one nominee receives a majority of the votes during the first ballot. The governing body shall vote by successive ballots, if necessary, until one of the nominees receives a majority of the votes.
If vacancies are determined to have occurred simultaneously the governing body shall establish by resolution the sequence in which the vacancies are filled.
Mayoral vacancies shall be filled from the council in the same manner as required for council vacancies. The president of the governing body shall occupy the office of the mayor until the vacancy is filled, pursuant to W.S. §15-3-204. (Ord. No. 93-11, 7-20-93).
Mayor and Council Raises
The ordinance which would increase the Mayor and City Council’s pay will go through third and final reading on Tuesday. After the reading, the council will vote on the ordinance change.
The raise would change the mayor’s pay from $14,400 a year to $24,000 a year. The city council positions would go from $4,800 to $12,000.
Before getting the increase, the mayor and councilmen will have to go through one election cycle. Some of the governing body will be up for re-election next November while others will have to wait until 2017.
There has not been a raise since 1991. Councilman Billy Shalata explained they looked at top populated cities in Wyoming as well as in Sweetwater County and this increase would put them in-line with these other governments including Green River and Sweetwater County Governing Bodies.
Rock Springs Firefighter Local No. 1499 President Dominic Erramouspe questioned the council about the raise at the last meeting and said they would be watching the results.
Other than that, there have not been any public comments on it.
The council will vote on a request by the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board to add Kimberly Taucher to fill Veronica Donaldson’s unexpired term.
The council will vote on a request from the Department of Engineering and Operations to bid the Gateway Pump Station Project.
After a lot of discussion, and the council holding off on the acceptance of bids for one of the older fire engines to see if they could donate it to a smaller department who could use it, the council will vote on whether to send the engine to Murphy Reynolds Wilson Volunteer Fire District.
In a letter from the district’s Treasurer Louis K. Monson, it was explained that the district purchased a retired urban/wildland interface engine from the City of Rock Springs some time back and said they “would like you to know it is still in service and is stationed in Murphy, ID. This engine is the pride of our fleet and is the newest engine we have.”
The letter continues to say they are currently using a 1960 C850 Howe, a 1973 American LaFrance and a 1971 American LaFrance. The 1982 American LaFrance would replace one of these older engines.