by June Conner
For The Star-Gazette
There were only voices of support of the Beardstown Police Department and Chief Roy Hurst at the Beardstown City Council meeting and the preceeding "Committee as a Whole". Friends and family spoke out in support of having two officers on duty during the day, leaving the Chief for administration. Mayor Steve Patterson said that the suggestion was going back to the way the shifts used to be, saving the overtime that had been scheduled.
Chief Hurst said," I was not hired as a patrol officer. I took the job as administrator. This is against what I was told. I moved my family 500 miles to come to this job. If you are given extra duties and responsibility, you should be compensated." Mayor Patterson said, "Part of his job is to save money and he is not doing that. "
During the Council meeting, Mayor Patterson said, "He (Chief Hurst) is a good man, but he doesn't take orders very well." Alderman Leslie Harris said "Departments need to be micromanaged. They take orders from you (Mayor Patterson) and then the Council. The aldermen don't need to run the department heads. If there is a problem, we can call a meeting and discuss it there."
Sally Lael, a community supporter in attendance, said to the Mayor and Council, "You have to start working together. You have got to send a message to the community,"
The Mayor and Council commended Gary Hamilton, Public Works Director, and his crew for the excellent job of snow removals this harsh winter. Hamilton said he had told the crews to only salt the main drags in town. He said that the city had purchased the normal amount of 200 tons of salt and that it was used with no more available anywhere in the U.S. Hamilton said, "We will run out." Hamilton also reported that 73 water meters had frozen up in the city, He and Water Superintendent Clint Brewer have found a way to insulate the 2,100 meters, but at a cost of 18 to 20 dollars per meter, No action was taken.
Wendy McClenning was hired to update the City website for a fee of $1,500, with a monthly maintenance of $150.