by ARIEL McRAE | Associate Editor
The Humboldt City Board met last Monday, September 11 to go over a short agenda. All board members were in attendance. The city board meeting was opened with a moment of silence and prayer in remembrance of all the lives lost 22 years ago on the fateful day of September 11, 2001.
After a brief roll call, the board got down to business. Humboldt Mayor Marvin Sikes started the meeting by asking if he could give an update about the financials.
Board member Leon McNeal made a motion to amend the agenda in order to discuss the financial update later in the meeting.
On the agenda were three different applications for beer permits. The first was for Anita Dunn of City Market at 330 S. 17th Ave., formerly known as Southside Market. The board discussed amongst themselves the improvements Dunn has made to what is now City Market and all agreed that it will be wonderful for the neighborhood and community. The application was approved 5-0.
The next beer application was also for Dunn for City Grill on Main Street, formerly known as The Coffee Shop. During the discussion, Lynch stated that Dunn told him even if he came in she would ask him for his ID, which got some laughs from the board. The application was approved unanimously and the mayor congratulated her.
The last beer permit application on the agenda was for Jose Jimenez for Mi Casita on Main Street. Jimenez brought an interpreter to the meeting in order to participate in discussion. McNeal asked what they were going to serve, not realizing they were already in business. Lynch asked if it needed to be 50-percent food sold in order to sell beer on location and was told that was correct. There was no more discussion and the motion passed unanimously.
“This board passed that we could sell beer on Main Street and we have had three apply,” Mayor Sikes indicated. “That’s good.”
•Also on the agenda was to approve the hiring of a new police officer candidate. In the recommendation for hire, Chief Buchanan said that Joshua D. Koop had passed the National Police Officer Selection test as well as a physical agility test, psychological exam, medical exam, background check and drug screening. It was his recommendation that Koop be hired so he could attend Basic Police School. Koop is a resident of Humboldt.
During discussion, Lynch asked Koop if he resided in Humboldt and Koop stated he has lived here for the last 16 years. Lynch further asked if he was currently employed and he said not at this moment. Lynch finished by asking if he was ready to be a police officer to which Koop said yes. Lynch said Humboldt was ready to have him. His hiring was approved unanimously and Mayor Sikes welcomed him to the force.
•For the financial director application update, Mayor Sikes announced the city has stopped taking applications as of Monday, September 11. Most of the applications are out of state and there are even some out of the country. Mayor Sikes said he was going to try to interview three last week in order to get someone hired in quickly. The books have not been reconciled since June, and the mayor said the city sure does not want to run out of money. He said the city has never been here before. The board wants to get someone in the position as soon as possible.
“By the next board meeting we will have someone to look at?” questioned board member Tammie Porter.
The mayor told her he hoped they could do it quickly. He added that some of the department head requests, including the fire department pay, may need to be readjusted once the comptroller approves the budget. He stated that Humboldt needed to ensure there is money in the bank.
•The police report for August 2023 was approved. In the report there were only 913 complaints filed in the month of August. There were 41 alarms, 45 business escorts, nine funeral escorts, 27 vehicles had to be unlocked and 25 warning tickets were written. Mayor Sikes asked the board if there was any discussion on the police report and Board member Shane Lynch addressed Police Chief Reynard Buchanan directly.
“I just would like to say that I appreciate you applying for the SRO grants. I think that will be a big benefit to the city,” Lynch stated.
The mayor asked Chief Buchanan to talk about the grant and what it implied. Chief Buchanan said they had applied for three different School Resource Officers or SROs. The chief stated the biggest issue currently is finding coverage for the schools because patrol is so short handed. The police report was approved unanimously.