MASON, W.Va. — A seven-page proposal from Police Chief Jimmy Reynolds was approved in a recent special meeting of the Mason Town Council.
Included in the proposal were pay increases for six full- and part-time officers, as well as the chief. The pay raises were cited as being an incentive to retain qualified officers in the department.
Officers who have reached two years of service with the town will now receive wages of $15 per hour. They include full-time employees Kendall Roush, Gabe Starcher, Tyler Deweese, and part-time officers Dave Hardwick, Cole Johnson and Matt Stewart. Pay for Reynolds, who serves as a part-time chief, will raise to $19 per hour.
Among other issues resolved in the proposal were the number of unexcused call-offs that officers can make per year, the amount of notice prior to vacations days, and a two-hour notice before a shift for sick time.
The council agreed not to hire any additional officers at this time. Members also decided against allowing uncertified officers on the road without a certified officer accompanying them, due to liability issues.
A new rank schedule was adopted. The chief told council members that ranks below that of sergeant can be obtained through years of service worked. Ranks of sergeant and above will be through testing.
In other action, Mayor Donna Dennis stepped down as police commissioner, with councilman Bob Wing being appointed. The mayor will now assist council member Emily Henry in parks and recreation.
The council also accepted the resignation of water and sewer department employee Steve Myers and discussed an employee social media policy. The policy will be discussed at the next meeting.
Attending were Mayor Dennis, Chief Reynolds, and council members Bob Wing, Ron Heath, Marty Yeager, Emily Henry and Becky Pearson.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.