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Council approves transfer agreement with police sergeant

WORTHINGTON — In a meeting with few items on the agenda Monday night, the Worthington City Council approved a resolution for transfer agreement between a police sergeant and the Law Enforcement Labor Services Local No. 274 and 4.

0 Talk about it

Not counting the consent agenda — which includes reports and minutes from various meetings — there were a total of four items for the council to discuss. However, much of the discussion was around the police personnel issue.

“I don’t know how to react to it because I’ve never seen anything like this come forward,” Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh said.

“It’s not every day we have to deal with that kind of a situation,” City Administrator Craig Clark added.

Because much of the information is protected, not many questions were raised.

“There are questions I would like to have with this,” Oberloh said. “But I don’t how to publicly ask the questions I want to ask because it’s protected data.”

Council member Scott Nelson said he also had some reservations.

“We’re not apprised of all the details,” he said. “I do have the same reservations you have because we don’t have all the details.”

According to council member Ron Wood, the council has little say in the transfer.

“The only thing we really have any control over is contract,” Wood said. “We have no control over the final decision that’s being made. We can control the salary and those sorts of things.”

The option of going into a closed session was discussed. However, the council did not decide to close the meeting.

“In all my years, we’ve never dealt with something like this in front of council,” Oberloh said.

Director of Public Safety Mike Cumiskey was brought forward to speak to council.

“This transfer agreement would not have come before council unless there had been a difference in a wage structure,” Cumiskey said. “Otherwise, this could have gone on just by the two unions signing the agreement. Because the officer is being held at a higher rate for a certain period of time after the transfer, that can only be approved by council.”

Council member Mike Kuhle said if council was to approve the agreement, it should be able to ask questions.

“The city council, if I’m reading the law right, we have very little control over the police officers from a disciplinary standpoint,” Wood said.

“This really isn’t a discussion on discipline,” council member Diane Graber said. “It’s a discussion on wage.”

In other news, Wood was nominated to again serve as the council representative to Nobles County joint jurisdictional board. The council approved the concession fee schedule for 2013, which includes a $300 deposit for annual permits.

Two workforce housing program applications were approved for $18,664.01 each.

Daily Globe Community Content Coordinator Aaron Hagen may be reached at 376-7323