The Mayville City Council voted unanimously to terminate the positions of two officers from the Mayville Police Department.
Following a two-hour closed session discussion during a special joint personnel and finance committee meeting Tuesday, the council reconvened in open session to recommend the police department personnel cut to the special common council and to discuss further budget cuts. The decision was finalized without further discussion at the special common council meeting directly following the joint personnel and finance meeting.
The two most junior officers, Nathan Klapoetke and Kyle Parish, were terminated as of Aug. 26 and will receive two months worth of salary and one month of health insurance. The severance pay is voided if they find employment somewhere else.
“It is because of the financial condition of the city,” Alderperson Dottie Hoy said. “It has no bearing at all on the individual officers.”
The elimination of the two officers saves the city about $141,500.
“The first priority of the mayor and council is to provide for the public safety and I believe this city does that very well,” Mayor Tracy Heron said. “I would like to thank officers Klapoetke and Parish for their years of service to this community and we wish them the best.”
Police Chief Bill Linzenmeyer and Capt. Chris MacNeill will assume the duties of those officers.
“This reallocation of resources of the chief and captain covering shifts in order to reduce staff would make sense in any economy, good or bad,” Heron said. “We cannot be timid in the face of our immediate budget crisis. We know we are dealing with people who have families, but we have a mess to fix and we are fixing it.”
The Mayville city budget is about $2.5 million in debt and Heron is hoping to fix that by making some drastic cuts and implementing several cost-saving tactics.
“Recently the council helped me with the direction of a goal of a recovery plan that panned out to $360,000 a year in the right direction for the next nine years,” Heron said. “That would accomplish getting us out of the deficits that we are currently experiencing and get to a 15 to 20 percent surplus in our undesignated fund.”
As part of the recovery plan, Heron suggested relieving the general fund of the fire protection fee, a potential cost-savings of $230,000 in 2010. It is in the beginning stages of the process.
The council also discussed implementing furlough days, freezing wages, re-evaluating health insurance premiums and eliminating or revamping longevity pay. No decisions were made.