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WM Council makes moves for 2021

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City adopts new policies, approves vendors for the new year

news@theeveningtimes.com The West Memphis City Council worked through annual routine business during its first meeting of the year, including a pair of supply contracts that were affirmed and new procedures for business meetings that were announced. The council also adopted a new procedure for broadcasting meetings during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

City Attorney Mike Stephenson said the advent of meetings remotely viewed by the public allowed during the pandemic created the need for upgraded procedures. Face coverings made it impossible for viewers to see who was speaking.

'Some of the emergency orders the governor made about the pandemic are about to expire,' said Stephenson. 'One of those was about open meetings.

The municipal league was comfortable continuing Zoom meetings under the circumstances and under opinions from the attorney general. But, one of the things I was listening to during a conference yesterday — it is imperative people know who is speaking.

Continued on Page 2 COUNCIL (cont.)

So the suggestion was before you speak state your name and position so it is know by the public who is speaking.'

City council immediately implemented the procedure, raised hands and waited to be called on and clearly identified themselves

the meeting.

City Council also approved long-awaited changes to the city’s employee handbook. Elected officials adopted revisions to the travel and credit card use policy, as well as preemployment

The council had rejected updates for more than a year over concerns with poorly written language and potential ramifications of the proposed changes.

After tabling revisions multiple times over the last 14 months, the city retained a human resources consultant to rework the changes with looks toward the most recent legislation and comparative practices with other cities — and to provide a grammar check on the new policies.

Council members also reaffirmed Motorola for city emergency communications support. Aldermen referred low bids to their appropriate departments for supplies to conclude annual considerations on the agenda.

APAC-Tennessee submitted the low bid for crushed limestone gravel and asphalt. Razorback provided the sole bid for concrete. The Public Works Department will use those vendors for street needs in 2021.

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