Interim City Manager Jerry Moss sought support from the city council at Wednesday night’s meeting regarding the Use of City Vehicles policy he authored as well as the investigation into thefts by city employees he initiated two weeks ago.
Moss began by reminding the council that the vehicle use policy was something into which he had put a lot of thought. He stated that a lot of cities do not allow vehicles to go outside of the city limits. He informed the full council that he had checked with other cities and had learned that some allowed vehicles to be removed a mile from the city limits into their ETJs.
The interim city manager told the council that he tried to make sure that on-call personnel would be provided a vehicle with equipment in it to get back to a scene quickly. He used maintenance workers and sewage spills as an example.
Moss stated that the policy has been accepted by all but one department in the city. A supporting document provided by Moss indicates that the Police Department has not accepted the policy. That memo is available on Home in Henderson under a separate headline.
Moss asked for council support for the policy to be put into effect May 1. He told council members that he knew some had been called and asked questions.
Moss had requested that individuals and departments not lobby council members.
“I will again ask for your support on this policy if there is a desire to save city money in the future, I ask for your support,” Moss said.
The interim city manager then continued with his second item regarding the administrative and SBI investigation into theft of city property by city employees. He informed council members that employees who had engaged in theft were no longer working for the city of Henderson.
“There have been some very serious allegations by some employees we have talked to about other employees involving theft of city property,” Moss told members.
Moss then went on to inform the council that an employee’s son had been arrested with a piece of city equipment in his possession.
The interim manager stated that the SBI would be investigating for some time. He said that he felt it necessary that someone independent of the city be brought in “to make sure the gathering of evidence and the investigation would be done by the professionals we expect to do things like that”.
Henderson Mayor Clem Seifert spoke to the council, telling members that he hoped they would support him on “this issue”, presumably the ongoing investigation.
“A number, most, employees in this city are good, hardworking, honest people. I hope the city council will support the city manager in weeding out every one of them who aren’t,” Seifert said to the council.
The mayor indicated that he had never been involved in an incident as serious as the one outlined by Moss.
Council member Lynn Harper voiced support from the FAIR Committee regarding the city’s vehicle use policy. She stated to the council that six council members had supported the measure in the committee meeting on February 27 where Moss had outlined it.
After Harper spoke, Seifert said, “I hear no objection to that statement. I think you’ve got your support,” to the interim city manager.