The Spring Valley City Council met in regular session on Monday, February 13. All members were present: Tony Archer, Todd Jones, Mayor Jim Struzyk, Jessy Betts, Mike Hadland and City Administrator Deb Zimmer. No visitors had signed up to address the council.
After approving the previous minutes, agenda and bills, the main item on the agenda was deciding how to fill the city’s Ambulance Director position. Just prior to the public meeting, the council met in closed session to conduct interviews for the job. Finalists included an individual and a team of three members of the ambulance crew. Todd Jones stated, “I think Becky has good qualifications, but I think this team of three is,…I mean how do you top it, as far as what they bring to the table?” Other council members voiced agreement with this opinion. Tony Archer added, “I think the things they brought up about the cost savings, what they can do, how they can recruit, what ideas they have, sometimes it’s better in numbers to do that rather than one person…they have a lot of experience, a lot of education.”
Council members asked the trio questions about how they would handle their scheduling if hired, as well as considering pay options. Zimmer asked the council, “When you hire a director, it’s 40 hours. So would they split the 40 hours?” Jessy Betts suggested paying via a stipend rather than hourly pay, and Zimmer said that is allowable. After discussion, the council felt it would be best to pay each of the three via a stipend of $10,000 each per year, whereby they are simply expected to “get the job done.” The council voted unanimously to hire the three as proposed, effective March 1. This proposal included adding $2.50 per hour to the call pay for ambulance crew during the “daytime” hours of 4 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The council also considered Resolution 2017-10, Resolution in Support of Southeast Minnesota Regional Economic Development Study. Zimmer explained that, “This is just showing that you support that study.” The resolution states, in part, “The Spring Valley City Council asks the Minnesota State Legislature to fund the Southeast Minnesota Economic Study.” The council voted unanimously to approve the resolution as submitted.
The next regular meeting of the city council will be Monday, February 27 at 6 p.m.