hires police chief
Gabe Faimon | Reporter
SCRANTON—After more than four hours of discussion during
the Scranton City Council’s May 4 meeting, Scranton Mayor
David Barnes announced the appointment of a new police chief.
The council also approved the appointment of an assistant city
clerk during the meeting.
Over half of the meeting was held in executive session to interview
three police chief candidates and for other personnel matters.
Prior to adjournment, Barnes announced appointment of Larry
Alexander as police chief, pending a psychological evaluation.
Alexander’s compensation was set at $15.50 per hour, plus
a $1,000 stipend for moving expenses.
The council opened the meeting with a work session to interview
the three applicants, Alexander, Greg Cook and James Huff, who
were finalists for the position. During the series of executive
sessions, the council took a break to provide candidates an
opportunity to view the police department’s office and
Two other executive sessions were held with two current city
employees present – Bobi Morris, city clerk, and Scott
Lester, maintenance supervisor. Also present during the executive
sessions was city attorney Todd Luckman.
Upon returning to open session, no official action was taken
by the council until the end of the meeting when Barnes announced
the appointments. Also appointed was Christi Miles as part-time
city treasurer and part-time assistant city clerk, with compensation
set at $9 per hour.
In other discussion during the meeting, the firm providing design
and management services for the city’s sewer upgrade project,
BG Consultants, Inc., presented a preliminary project map to
the council. During its April 20 meeting, the council had requested
a map to aid the city in planning for summer street maintenance.
Referring to information that had been developed from analysis
of video inspection of the sewer system, Sam Johnson and Thaniel
Monaco, of BG Consultants, said the map illustrated preliminary
plans for various types of work, particularly where open trench
excavation would be conducted.
Reviewing the map, Barnes requested Lester’s participation
to discuss street locations that could be affected by excavation.
During discussion of the map, Barnes asked Lester, “Why
were we filling in ruts done by Mayer?”
Mayer Specialties is the company that conducted the video inspection
of the sewer.
Lester replied that he understood an arrangement had been made
with Mayer Specialties to clean out a lift station, and in exchange
for the extra work, the city would fill ruts that were made
to gain access to the lift station.
Scranton City Council Member Jack Mayfield asked, “How
did the lift station get cleaned without us knowing about it?”
Scranton City Council Member Eddie Lester replied that the matter
had been discussed during the last meeting with BG Consultants
representative and project manager, Pat Cox.
Johnson said he would pass Mayfield’s concern to Cox,
and Barnes said he would contact Cox to discuss the issue.
In reporting progress on the project, Johnson said the manhole
inspection has been completed.
“Bidding documents should be ready in approximately a
month to month and a half,” Johnson said.
Monaco added, “Review of easement files is nearly complete.
Most of the locations where access will be needed are covered
Also during the meeting, while reviewing bills for payment,
Lester questioned, “Why are we paying for no-shows to
“We should not be paying for people who don’t go
to training,” Barnes said.
During discussion of the issue, Luckman agreed to develop a
contract that establishes that if a city official does not attend
or complete training as specified, the official is responsible
for any registration and training fees the city had paid in
In other business, the council:
• approved Barnes’ reappointment of:
Michael Coffman as municipal judge; Luckman, city attorney;
Kenneth Croucher, fire chief; Morris, city clerk; Scott Lester,
maintenance supervisor; The Osage County Herald-Chronicle, official
newspaper; and Kansas State Bank, official depository. The council
tabled discussion of compensation for reappointed officials.
• discussed an abandoned structure at 604 S. Burlingame.
Luckman agreed to contact Jim Jones, public officer, to determine
Jones’ intent to reach closure on the issue.
• approved expenditure not to exceed $200 for fire department
• authorized advertising to recruit applicants with
a valid commercial drivers license for the position of city
• authorized acquiring a cell phone for Scott Lester.
• approved expenditure not to exceed $30 for purchase
of one dozen lithium batteries for police department flashlights.
• approved Scranton City Council Member Gary Deshazer’s
attendance at the annual Kansas Municipal Utilities board meeting
and dinner, and the Kansas Municipal Energy Association meeting,
to be held May 12 and 13 in Wichita.