The Cherokee City Council and the Cherokee Police Association have reached an agreement for a two-year contract calling for a 3 percent increase in the base pay at the start of each year of the contract.
The association represents police officers other than the chief.
The 3 percent amounts to 44.68 cents per hour for the year beginning July 1, 2005 bringing the base salary to $15.34, and 46.02 cents for the year beginning July 1, 2006 bringing the base salary to $15.8002.
This 3 percent increase applies only to the base salary not the total salary resulting from longevity increases, from education level or from the $2,000 per year over base received by the one sergeant on the force.
The actual hourly wage will range from $15.59 to $17.3016 on July 1, 2005.
New provisions in the contract regarding insurance will require the employee to pay $10 per pay period for their dependent medical insurance and new hires to pay 50 percent for dependent medical insurance.
There are new provisions regarding payment for unused sick leave, annual evaluations and the residency requirement.
The elimination of a requirement that police officers live in the city limits was the only part of the contract (negotiated in closed session as allowed by state law), that generated comment at last week's city council meeting.
"Essential personnel should be required to live in the city limits," Ron Johnson, city council member, said.
Ron Strickland, city manager, said that city employees can no longer legally be required to live in the city limits.
The contract was approved by a four to one vote, with Johnson opposed.
The council heard from Jane Miller about the traffic situation on Webster Street.
This is a north/south street that runs from Magnetic Street to Sumner Street. One street, Summit Avenue, runs off of Webster Street at a T intersection heading east.
Miller advocates making the street one way and having parking only along one side. She said the street is apparently a paved over former alley, only about 20 feet wide.
"This is an accident waiting to happen," Miller said.
The council decided to put the matter on the agenda for a later meeting, giving them a chance to look at the street and talk to area residents.
The council delayed action on a request for a special use permit for a sign for Copper Cup, which is moving to 425 West Main.
The planning and zoning commission did not make a recommendation on the request pending further research.
There was some discussion regarding the need for uniformity in the size of signs extending perpendicular to buildings. Johnson disagreed that signs need to be uniform contending that a variety of sign sizes would be more visually interesting than uniformity.
"You have to live with other people but you don't have to live like them," Johnson said, explaining that his statement was his class motto and he had finally found an appropriate use for it.