Yuma City Council held last meeting of 2022

The Yuma City Council held its final meeting of 2022, last week in the Council Chambers at Yuma City Hall in downtown Yuma.
All seven members participated — Mayor Ron Swehla, Mayor Pro-tem Marc Shay, and Terri Frame, Marylu Smith-Dischner, Jerome Benish, Dan Baucke and Tim McClung.
The council completed the final 5-percent raises for city staff. Most city staffers received the raise, after not getting one in 2022, through the approval of the 2023 budget.
However, the city manager, city clerk/treasurer and chief of police, are under direct supervision of the council. The council held executive sessions during recent meetings to conduct the annual evaluations for those three positions — held by Scott Moore, Karma Wells and Jerry Thompson.
A motion then was made at last week’s meeting to approve 5-percent raises for those three positions, which equates to $4,666 for City Manager, $3,977 for City Clerk/Treasure, and $3,570 for Chief of Police. The motion passed unanimously.
The council heard from Shelby Clark, executive director of Yuma County Economic Development prior to considering a donation request of $10,000 from the YCED.
Clark highlighted accomplishments in the past year, including new partnerships among entities in Yuma County, a countywide tourism campaign, workforce readiness efforts through job fairs and scholarships for youth, continuing looking into housing issues in the county, helping with the efforts to create a recreation center in Yuma, and promoting local businesses on a wider scale.
Clark said the YCED has a lot coming up, but just needs help with expenses.
McClung said he appreciates the efforts Clark has made since taking over the director job. Frame congratulated her for getting into leadership programs.
Clark expanded on the latter, stating she hopes the programs help make her a stronger leader in the Yuma County community.
The council unanimously approved the $10,000 donation request.
A resolution amending the city’s personnel policies manual in regard to pay day, work week, schedule and time recording passed on a 7-0 vote.
Chief Thompson requested approval of a Northeast All-Hazards Region Homeland Security Grant Program application for 2023, explaining it would be used for equipment. The grant is for $10,000 and does not require matching funds. Thompson said the Yuma Police Department did not get the grant in 2022, but he wanted to try again in 2023. The council granted its approval to go for it with a 7-0 vote.
Moore told the council he would like to get more council input in regards to snow routes. There was a question about a policy concerning drifting snow, and Moore said he would like more guidance on that issue. He said he also would look into what kind of damage snow does to roads.
Swehla later reported he had received a lot of calls and had conversations about snow removal and had received several good comments. “I think it’s important the city crews know they get compliments,” the mayor said.
McClung related he saw a man in a wheelchair having to go down the street because some places had not cleared their sidewalks. He voiced concern about it being a safety issue.
Baucke brought up that the public needs to understand that only brown cardboard can be put in the cardboard recycling trailer. He also noted the people putting such items as tires in the trash results in an extra charge to the city when taken to the Yuma County Landfill.
“We need to let other people know, when you put other trash in there, it costs us,” he said.
That led to more discussion about the proper use of the recycling bins, and trash cans. Moore noted that the plastic recycling trailer probably gets misused more than any other bin.
Council members gave committee reports about streets, sanitation, airport, library and more.
Baucke said he had a conversation with the Streets crew about the budget cuts, and that he felt it requires full council input. Swehla and McClung noted the council’s role was in the budget, and now it is up to the departments.
The council’s first meeting in 2023 will be Tuesday, January 3.