By Steve Capps
For the Star-Gazette
Beardstown’s city council learned the city is again without a police chief on the same night they approved a new contract with their firefighters. Mayor Steve Patterson informed the council at their meeting last week that Police Chief Chris Baer resigned from that position earlier that day. Baer was appointed to the post just last month.
“There was nothing bad that happened,” Patterson said. “He just felt the chief duties were too much for him to be able to accomplish some of his other goals like continuing his education.” He added that Baer will remain on the force but not as chief.
Patterson told the council that he would be seeking a police chief outside the department because no one currently serving the city wants the chief job. He told the council he would also begin advertising for a code enforcement officer. That position has been vacant for some time.
Code enforcement brought up the topic of derelict buildings, some of the worst of which have been recently posted for tax sale by Cass County. The possibility of the city making the purchase was discussed. “You don’t want to buy a property for $650 and then turn around and spend $20,000 cleaning the place up so all you’ve got left is a lot worth $4,000. It doesn’t make sense,” said Patterson.
The council unanimously approved a two-year contract with the Beardstown Professional Firefighters Local 3155. The new contract gives firefighters a two-and-a-half percent raise this year and two percent next year.