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Bradford board promotes city clerk to recorder

By Crystal Burns

With City Recorder Melissa Workman tendering her resignation to take on her new role as County Trustee, the Bradford Board of Aldermen opted to promote from within city ranks to fill Workman’s position.

City Clerk Valorie Rinks got the board’s vote of confidence at its Aug. 6 meeting.

Workman gave Rinks her endorsement and pledged her assistance as Rinks navigates a lengthy learning process.

“She wants it,” Workman said. “She believes she can do it. I believe she can do it.”

Workman said she spoke with the city’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) representative, and they agreed that Rinks should spend the final months of this year learning about the job itself. Rinks will enroll in Certified Financial Municipal Officer (CFMO) classes in January with 12 months to pass 11 tests. To avoid paying fines, the city will keep Workman as its CFMO until Rinks gets her license.

Workman said Tuesday that she spoke with the County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS) and got the green light to stay on as CFMO after she takes office as Trustee in September.

The board agreed to start Rinks at $15 per hour to be reviewed when she gets her CFMO license. As city clerk, Rinks makes $13.75 per hour. The board is also seeking applications for a clerk and said hiring the right person would be key to Rinks’ success as city recorder.

“Valorie has helped me tremendously as city clerk,” Workman said. “She knows more than I knew when I came here [as city recorder].”

Rinks has been employed by the city since December 2011 when she started part-time. She moved to fulltime in January 2017.

Workman came to Bradford in June 2013. In resigning, the told city leaders she was grateful for her time there.

“This was an opportunity,” Workman said of her decision to seek county office. “I would’ve never left to go to another job.”

Mayor Ray Arnold thanked Workman for her contributions to the city.

“She’s done a marvelous job,” he said.

Vicious dogs ordinance – A committee Arnold appointed at the July board meeting recommended Bradford use an ordinance to regulate the keeping of pit bulls and other vicious dogs the City of Dyer has on its books. Alderman Frank Lockard, a former Bradford mayor, said it’s the same ordinance the city tried to adopt several years ago.

Highlights of the ordinance include:

  • All owners, keepers, harborers or possessors of a pit bull dog shall annually obtain a pit bull permit.
  • All owners, keepers, harborers or possessors of a pit bull dog shall display in a prominent place on their premises a sign easily readable by the public using the words “Beware of Dog” and including a warning symbol to inform children that there is a dangerous dog on the property.
  • All owners, keepers, harborers or possessors of pit bull dogs shall provide a certificate of insurance as evidence that they have public liability insurance in a single incident amount of $100,000 for bodily injury to or death of any person.
  • Securely enclosed and locked pen or structure means a fenced-in area that shall be a minimum of 10 feet wide, 10 feet long and six feet in height above grade, and with a horizontal top covering said area, all to be at least nine gauge chain link fencing with necessary steel supporting posts. The floor shall be at least three inches of poured concrete with the bottom edge of the fencing embedded in the concrete or extending at least two feel below grade. The gate must be of the same materials as the fencing, fit securely and be kept securely locked.

The board will have a first reading on the ordinance at its Sept. 10 meeting.

New police cars – The board signed off on the Police Dept. purchasing two 2014 Dodge Durango vehicles that are fully equipped for police duty. Chief David Andrews said total cost is $78,820 to be taken out of the drug fund, which received a recent influx of $97,202 thanks to Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) equipment sales. The program allows eligible organizations to receive excess Department of Defense personal property with special emphasis given to counter-drug and counter-terrorism. The property must remain in use for at least 12 months after which it may be sold, but the funds are restricted to certain uses.

City reports – Andrews gave reports from June and July. In June, officers responded to 98 calls for service, made 69 traffic stops yielding 59 tickets, made eight arrests and used $1,032.85 in fuel. In July, officers responded to 105 calls for service, made 80 traffic stops, issued 50 tickets, made 10 arrests and used $1,063.36 in fuel. The manned traffic camera issued 1,909 tickets in June and 1,953 in July.

Fire Chief Joe Alexander also gave two months’ worth of reports. Firefighters responded to 10 calls in June and seven in July.

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