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Council Discusses Vehicle Policy

The Jamestown City Council could be implementing a new policy prohibiting drugs and alcohol in city-owned vehicles

On Monday during the council work session meeting, the discussion was about updating the city vehicle policy to add language stating “any use or possesion of any form of drugs and/or alcohol in any city-owned vehicle is grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination.”

No city administrator or council member stated what caused the proposed change in the city vehicle policy. However, Brent Sheldon, Ward 1 councilman, said there was an employee complaint in 2019 that involved drugs and/or alcohol in a city vehicle.

“It wasn’t in the policy (at the time), but it will be now,” he said.

Marie Carrubba, Ward 4 councilwoman, asked if drugs in police vehicles would be exempt from the policy because officers frequently transport drugs that have been confiscated, which includes transporting prescription drugs dropped off at the police department to UPMC Chautauqua.

“You might want to do that to be on the safe side,” she said.

Elliot Raimondo, city corporation counsel, said an exemption can be added to the policy.

Matthew Coon, deputy fire chief, asked for fire department personnel to be included too because often EMTs transport a patient’s medication.

Jeff Russell, At-Large councilman, asked if the policy includes exempting an employee’s personal prescriptions from their doctors.

Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said the policy will be examined to make sure the council’s suggestions are included.

“We will look into it,” he said. “We will pull other city policies and see what we find.”

In other business, the council discussed possible changes to the city’s management guidelines. Sundquist said potential changes include position name changes, which includes using the term administrative assistant instead of secretary. He said the changes will also include specialized leave to correlate with state laws. He added an additional change would be to have the police chief/public safety director salary be combined instead of a base salary for the chief and a stipend for being public safety director. He said the salary for the police chief would change to a range instead of a step schedule, which would also be done for the deputy chief position as well.

The council also discussed a resolution to hire Passport Labs of Charlotte, N.C., for the purposes of providing parking enforcement services, advanced collection services and a mobile payment solution for the period of Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2023.

Ryan Thompson, city comptroller, said city officials received three bids for the services. According to a city staff report, the city’s current contract with Passport Labs expired in July of last year.

However, because of the pandemic, the request for proposals was delayed to the end of the year after a short-term contract with Passport was approved by the council in August. Passport Labs was selected because it was the most competitive bid due to no start-up costs, low monthly payments and mobile pay solution. The pricing structure will be the same as before.

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