Council will examine three applications before making a recommendation

By Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

The Burns City Council opted to wait until their Sept. 22 meeting before making a recommendation to the city manager as to who to hire for the airport manager position.

The decision came after some of the councilors felt they hadn’t had enough time to look over the submitted proposals.

The councilors received copies of the proposals just before the start of the Sept. 8 meeting.

City  Manager Don Munkers said he had received three replies to the city’s Request for Proposal (RFP) for the airport manager job. Munkers stated he graded each proposal on seven items, including the specifics laid out in the RFP, and then ranked them accordingly. He added that he also had two other qualified persons review and rank the proposals, and all three final evaluations were very similar.

Munkers said he tried to keep the proposals anonymous, and had labeled them A, B and C for that purpose, and then recommended to the council that a contract be offered to proposal B.

Councilor Linda Johnson stated she didn’t have time to review the proposals before the meeting started and would like more time to look them over. “Nothing against you, Don, but in the past we’ve left decisions to city managers and have gotten ourselves into some situations,” Johnson said. “I want to go over these proposals so when I’m voting, it’s an informed vote.”

Councilor Darwin Johnson echoed that sentiment, and asked why couldn’t the council go into executive session to discuss it. Munkers answered that it doesn’t fall under any executive session regulations.

Acting chairman Bill Renwick suggested the council hold off making any recommendation until all councilors are comfortable with making a decision. The council agreed to wait until their next regular meeting.

In another airport matter, Munkers reported work had begun on the apron and the paving of the new runway was postponed for several days because of the weather.

Munkers added he was going to check with the construction crew at the airport to see if they could dig out the old oil tanks while they were on location.

In other business:

• Munkers said they had conducted two interviews for the fire chief position and would probably be offering the position to one of the applicants soon. He also stated work was continuing on the rural fire protection plan;

• Pat Oden addressed the council and asked them to consider changing Municipal Code 810. Oden said the code calls for a fine of up to $750 if the matter is not taken care of. “A $750 fine is exorbitant,” Oden said. “You could take a person who doesn’t have a job and have them cut the weeds, then charge the home owner for the work,” Oden said.

The council explained they had tried to contact the owner, but hadn’t had any success, and nuisance weeds are a too-often subject of discussion at meetings.

Renwick said the council does periodically review the city codes and would keep Oden’s comments on record;

• the council approved a temporary OLCC permit for the Pine Room for an outdoor dance Sept. 10-11.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 22, at city hall.

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