The Jacksonville City Council dealt mostly with money and personnel last night for their first meeting of the month of May. Mayor Andy Ezard announced that he had selected a replace for outgoing lead of City Inspection and Community Development Kelly Hall whose last day is approaching on Friday. Ezard said it’s a person many in Jacksonville are familiar with: “I’m happy to announce that community development and inspections department director will be Brian Nyberg. Many people know Brian as a fireman, and he’s going to be retiring his position as captain with the fire department. It caps a 25 year career. He’s going to step upstairs and fill the shoes of Kelly Hall who is retiring. We’re certainly happy for Kelly, but Brian’s got big shoes to fill. I’ve known Brian for almost 40 years. He has 30 years of a construction background on top of his experience at the fire department, so he’s very familiar with building codes. He knows how to work with people and has a very positive demeanor. He’s been in the public eye for years, and has owned several rental properties so he knows many landlords here in the city. He said that he’s looking forward to all the new challenges after a very, very good career with the fire department.”
Hall’s long-time assistant Cindy Thomas will also have her last day with the city on Friday. In a concurrent move, the city’s public protection committee successfully received permission to hire a new probationary hoseman for the Fire Department to fill Nyberg’s vacancy as well as approved promotions with the department. The city also approved another 5-year contract for the Fire Fighters Association Local 637.
In other city employment decisions, the city council struck down a first reading of a $15 per hour minimum wage ordinance for employers who employ over 500 people. Alderman Brandon Adams had brought the issue before the board but the consensus from other board members was it wasn’t the right time to ask for a wage increase and that it would drive out large employers from the city.
The city also approved a $190,998 bid from Rouland for the lift station force main replacement project at Jones Place. It was a final bid procured by Mark Sorrill who announced that his final day with Benton & Associates would also be Friday after a long career with the engineering firm. Sorrill said during the meeting he would still consult the city and Benton’s engineers on remaining projects that he won’t be able to finish up as time allows. Sorrill has been with Benton & Associates for 42 years.
The next city council meeting has been scheduled via teleconference for May 18th at 6PM to work around the Memorial Day holiday the following Monday.