Mayor names committee to search for new police chief

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Jackson Mayor Paul Sander has appointed six people to a committee that will search for the city's next police chief.

Sander appointed city administrator Jim Roach to chair the committee. Other members are assistant city administrator Larry Koenig and Robert "Red" Clifton, who are both former Jackson police chiefs, Alderwoman Val Tuschoff and Aldermen Larry Cunningham and Phil Penzel.

The police chief's position in Jackson has been vacant since former chief Marvin Sides resigned Oct. 21 after an investigation into an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a female dispatcher. Capt. Robert Hull is in temporary command of the department.

The Police Chief Search Committee will conduct interviews and make hiring recommendations to the board and to the mayor. Sander said he expects to receive a recommendation by spring.

In other business Monday night, the Jackson Board of Aldermen OK'd an $18 million budget for 2003.

The budget anticipates a more conservative increase in sales tax revenue in 2003 than the city experienced in 2002, when sales taxes rose by 4.5 percent. Jackson's situation contrasts with surrounding municipalities, which are struggling to maintain sales tax revenue in a foundering economy.

Roach said the city's perennially robust housing market -- 100 new residences have been built this year -- is one reason sales tax revenue is still increasing.

The budget calls for a 3 percent increase in salaries for city employees.

Fund balances in the new budget include $7 million in improvements to the city's water, sewer and electrical systems, all covered by bond proceeds. The $18 million figure does not include those bond monies.

Expecting to complete all the projects in 2003 is highly ambitious, says Koenig, who drafted the city budget. "Is it realistic? Probably not," he said.

The projects include completion of:

- East Main Street interceptor.

- Goose Creek to East Main Street interceptor.

- Highway PP interceptor.

- Williams Creek Reach B Sewer or Elwanda Sewer Bypass.

Bond money remains available for construction of a new well and installation of high pressure service pumps at the city water plant.

335-6611, extension 182

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