SCRANTON—Scranton firefighter Ted McDaniel presented public comments to the Scranton City Council following an altercation Aug. 10.
“I just wanted to make sure all council members knew, along with the citizens of Scranton, we had one of our firemen … assaulted at the club,” McDaniel said. “He was also threatened by our city maintenance guy.
“One of our firemen was directing an ambulance to get out of the scene,” McDaniel said. “He was attacked by one of the citizens of Scranton, and it just so happens to be the maintenance man’s wife.”
“Why didn’t the law do something?” asked Council Member Larry Hulsopple.
“They had their hands full,” MdDaniel said. “There was a man beaten within inches of his life.”
Scranton Chief of Police Larry Alexander said the incident was under investigation.
“We will be submitting it to the county prosecutor for his decision on filing charges,” Alexander said.
“Correct steps are being taken as a criminal matter,” said Scranton City Attorney Todd Luckman. “It does not address, in any way, shape or form, any activity that the city may find necessary, either as an employment situation, or to protect in a civil context.”
The council convened an executive session to discuss non-elected personnel with Alexander and Luckman present. When the council returned to open session, Scranton Mayor Robert Sims said a special meeting would be scheduled, which has been set for 7 p.m. Aug. 28.
Two representatives of BG Consultants, Inc., J. Patrick Cox, P.E., Senior Project Manager, and Sam Johnson, P.E., Project Engineer, presented an update on efforts to secure funds to upgrade the city’s water distribution system. The update focused on follow-up to the May 21 council meeting and plans to meet with the Kansas Interagency Advisory Committee.
“We had a successful KIAC meeting,” Cox reported. “We went away from the meeting with a few minor adjustments to the Preliminary Engineering Report. You will get an amended copy, probably within the next couple of weeks. If there is one year that there’s a tremendous opportunity to receive this grant funding application, it will be this year.”
The council received the Independent Auditors’ Report from Cindy Jensen, CPA, of Aldrich and Company, LLC. The report covered city financial activities for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012. A deficiency of internal control was cited, related to lack of personnel to provide separation of duties. Another deficiency was cited due to lack of reconciliation between utilities purchased and sold.
“Water and refuse went over their budget limits,” Jensen said. “I noticed that there was an error in entering the new sewer rates. The water utility, really, for its expenditures, exceeded its income. ”
By concensus, the council agreed that proposed ordinances to overcome revenue shortfalls for water, sewer and trash utilities would be prepared by Luckman. Jensen also made note of missing recreation commission records.
“We noted few records were available regarding the city recreation commission,” Jensen said. “I didn’t have anything to compare to.”
Council member Randy Jackson introduced a motion, seconded by Hulsopple, to approve the 2014 budget as published. During the Aug. 4 budget hearing, a question on the lack of recreation commission records led to adjournment of the hearing without action to approve the budget.
Council member Jennifer Burkdoll questioned whether the budget could be approved without the records. Sims said the issue would not affect approval of the budget. The budget was approved by a 3-2 vote, with Gary Burkdoll and Jennifer Burkdoll dissenting.
In other business, the council:
• adopted the Standard Traffic Ordinance for Kansas Cities and the Uniform Public Offense Code for Kansas Cities.
• by a 3-2 vote, authorized payment of $280 to support recurring USD 434 Santa Fe Trail booster advertising in The Osage County Herald-Chronicle.
• appointed Sims as voting delegate to the League of Kansas Municipalities, and appointment of Council Member Randy Ming as alternate.
• authorized $2,682.98 for purchase of two replacement computers, associated software and set up services from Network Computing Solutions.
• convened an executive session for client-attorney privilege with Luckman in attendance.
• reviewed the Scranton Police Department report, including seven traffic-related, one protection from abuse violation, one nuisance, one aggravated battery, two battery/interference with firefighter; two assists to outside agency; one disorderly conduct; one dog-at-large and one criminal damage to property.