By REID TUCKER
Walton County Judge David Green swore in re-elected Paxton Town Council members Jenice Armstrong and Bobby Kemp and Mayor Hayward Thomas at a brief Nov. 20 meeting.
Following the installment of the Council members (and a barbecue dinner provided by Holy Smokes Meats and Treats catering service), the board voted to re-appoint Kemp, now on his 41st year of service on the Town Council, as chairman. Armstrong once again got the nod for vice-chair. At Thomas’ recommendation, the Council members will keep their same city departments from last year as no new members were elected to the board.
The Council voted 5-0 in favor of tabling until next month’s meeting the adoption of revised city policies, some of which were long out of date or could be streamlined. City Attorney Lori Bytell reviewed the existing policies and procedures and updated them to reflect changes in state law, mainly in regard to nepotism, discrimination and the selection process for hiring new employees. Other proposed changes make it so that job descriptions are included as attachments and that employee salaries are decided by resolution, both of which are measures aimed at preventing the need to reproduce copies of the policies and procedures each time a change is made.
Other items to come before the Council included renewing the annual interlocal agreements with Walton County and the Walton County Economic Development Alliance. The agreement with the county authorizes the county administrator or an appointee to execute public works projects of less than $25,000 without having to bring the matter before the Board of County Commissioners. The yearly $1,000 agreement with the WCEDA reaffirms Paxton’s commitment to support the organization in recruiting new businesses and economic opportunities for the city.
Finally, the Council voted unanimously to extend one-time pay-raises equal to an extra week’s pay to the city’s employees in lieu of a Christmas bonus, as bonuses are not permissible under state law.