The city of Weyauwega’s proposed 2013 budget will include funds for a community officer.
When the Common Council met Monday, Oct. 15, it voted 4-1 to budget sufficient funds for the new position.
Donna Allenstein, Bruce Brunner, Amy DeSantis and Scott Rasmussen voted yes, while Mike Kempf voted no. Jim Zandrow was absent.
“I don’t believe it’s something we should be doing. Have we looked at other communities?” asked Kempf.
Rasmussen told Kempf that he has received seven community officer job descriptions from other communities. The council needs to look at how those job descriptions would apply to the city of Weyauwega.
Under the proposal – brought forward by DeSantis on Oct. 8 to the city’s Ordinance and Police, Fire and Ambulance committees – the community officer would handle ordinance enforcement.
“Why can’t we use our building inspector?” Kempf asked on Monday night.
DeSantis said it would cost more to have the city’s building inspector do it.
“This is $12 per hour,” she said. “If it is something we want to consider, first it has to be put in the budget. Details have to be worked out in the committees.”
Mayor Don Morgan said, “In other words, as we work on the budget, we might not find the funds.”
Under her proposal, the community officer would work 10 hours every two weeks at the hourly rate of $12 per hour.
The community officer would report to the city administrator but work jointly with the police department on any complaints.
In addition, the community officer would report monthly to the Ordinance Committee for a review of violations. The committee would then update the Common Council.
DeSantis is in favor of hiring a limited time employee to record and enforce ordinance violations within the city.
Under that scenario, the Ordinance Committee could thus decide at any time that the services of the community officer were no longer needed and terminate the employment.