McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 6, 2013

City manager to ask council to combine two job positions; create a new one

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — McAlester City Manager Pete Stasiak plans to ask city councilors to combine two new open positions in the city — and then create a newer one.

City councilors are set to consider the matter when they meet in regular session at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall.

Tuesday night’s agenda calls for discussion and possible action on authorizing Stasiak to change the job title and duties of the two new positions in the city.

Stasiak said Friday he’s been reviewing applications from those applying for the city’s new position of Planning and Community Development director. He’s also been reviewing applications from those applying for the new Economic Development director’s post.

 The city manager said he would like to combine those two positions into a single post held by one individual.

If Stasiak’s proposal is approved, whoever he hired for the job will be known as the city’s new Planning and Economic Development director.

A second part of the provision before the council Tuesday would establish the brand new position of Economic Development manager.

“The economic development manager would report to the economic development director,” Stasiak said.

Under Stasiak’s proposal, a new Community and Economic Development director would have duties revolving more around strategic planning.

Referring to the proposed new Economic Development manger, Stasiak said, “The other is on the ground, working with local businesses for business retention and expansion,” as well as working to attract new business, he said.

He’s also asking the city council for the latitude to establish the pay grades within the $150,000 budgeted for the two positions — in other words, to determine the salaries.

“I’ve got $75,000 for each position,” Stasiak said. “I’m asking the council to allow me to set parameters.” Stasiak may want to offer more for the position of Community and Economic  Development director, since that would include a supervisory position if his proposal is approved.

Asked if he had hired anyone for either of the two positions currently open for applications, or made a job offer, Stasiak said, “I have not.” The city manager said he wants to wait and see whether the council approves his proposal.

Other items on the agenda include:

• Discussion and possible action to authorize the city attorney to file a civil action to recover city property, an electric chair now in possession of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

The city and the DOC are in a dispute over the electric chair, known as Ol’ Sparky. The city contends the DOC gave the chair to the city a number of years ago, then asked to borrow it for display at a museum at Oklahoma State Penitentiary, and now refuses to return it.

The DOC contends it has no records of the agency ever giving the electric chair to the city and has refused to return it.

Condemned inmates are now executed by lethal injection.

• Returning after being tabled at the last regular city council meeting is a provision that calls for the city council to consider and act upon the mayor to execute a city-county jail services agreement.

However, Pittsburg County commissioners also tabled the item during a recent meeting. They tabled the matter at the request of Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns, who said an attorney general’s opinion is being sought on aspects of the proposed agreement.

• Consider and take possible action on a request from Janell Brooks regarding rezoning at 804 E. Monroe Ave.

Janell and Gaylord Brooks previously requested that a 7,500 square foot property be rezoned from R-1B, which is Single Family Residential, to H-1, for health facilities.

City documents state that the city’s Land Development Code states the minimum lot area for rezoning to an H-1 District shall not be less that 50,000 square feet.

Janell and Gaylord Brooks met before the  McAlester Planning Commission on Sept. .17. The Planning Commission has recommended that the property not be rezoned because of the square footage requirements.

The city has also received a letter from a neighborhood resident on East Monroe Avenue who said the Brooks have been good neighbors, but he objects to plans to put a day spa/beauty shop on the property.

• Consider and act upon a resolution declaring certain buildings dangerous by reason of being dilapidated and a detriment to the public welfare and to the community.

The following properties are up for the council to consider as dilapidated:

429 N. C St.

35 E. Jefferson Ave.

6 W. Miami Ave.

943 N. F St.

341 Harrison Ave.

1002 E. Choctaw Ave.

2806 N. Main St.

• Consider and act upon an amendment to an agreement for professional airport consulting services with LBR Inc. to provide a redesign and rebid package regarding construction improvements for safety purposes at McAlester Regional Airport.

The item calls for an amendment to the agreement for the redesign and rebid package, not to exceed $24,500, according to city documents.

Approving the matter would allow LBR to provide revised plans and specifications as well as bid documents for the proposed runway improvements.

Also on the meeting agenda is an executive session calling for the city council to meet with the city attorney regarding a legal claim from Denis Vogel, according to the council agenda.

Included on the city council’s consent agenda Tuesday night is a provision to designate Saturday, Oct. 26, as “Make a Difference Day” in McAlester. Also on the consent agenda are provisions to approve claims for Sept. 18 through Oct. 1, and to approve minutes from the Sept. 24 city council meeting. All items on the consent agenda can be approved by a single vote of the council, unless a city councilors asks for a particular item to be pulled for individual discussion.

The city council meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at City Hall at 6 p.m. The meetings are open to the public.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.