Hardy City Council resolved issues, passed ordinances and honored an employee who has been with them for 25 years at the most recent meeting held Tuesday, Jan. 2.
Director of Public Works, Billy Gilbreath, knew he was in for a surprise when his family showed up to the Hardy City Council meeting. While filling out paperwork for the new year, recorder/treasurer Greg Bess said it came up Gilbreath had been with the city 25 years in January. Bess and Mayor Jason Jackson began working on a surprise for the long time employee, and decided to let his family in on the surprise they had in store for Gilbreath.
A wooden plaque created by Marc Herring at Ozarks Classic Crafts Mall was presented to Gilbreath during by Jackson during the meeting. The plaque reads, “With great appreciation to Billy G. Gilbreath, Director of Public Works, thank you for 25 years of dedicated service to the City of Hardy, Arkansas” with the mayor’s signature.
Billy’s wife, Paige, had a few words to say about her husband’s dedication to the city and it was apparent by the reaction of the audience, the residents of Hardy appreciate his hard work ethic and dedication.
As previously discussed and decided upon, Hardy Police Department will operate 2018 on a much smaller budget. A budget of $153,812 for the department was presented to the council and eventually approved after a lengthy discussion. Chief Tamara Taylor’s salary decreased, an action justified by Jackson due to Taylor’s duties being less, as she no longer is over the fire department in addition to the police department.
Many options were discussed, but due to open audits currently being performed, certain funds set aside cannot be used until the findings of the audits are complete.
Hardy Fire Department Chief, Jason Griffin, addressed the council about a nepotism issue. According to Griffin, a media source has requested numerous pages of documentation and all files related to nepotism. As chief, Griffin is “over” family members during calls as his father, brother and wife are all members of the volunteer fire department.
Council members expressed they did not have an issue with Griffin being the chief or having any of his family members on the department as well. A policy stating such will be included in the updated employee handbook, which is currently going through some changes.
Hardy City Council meets the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Hardy City Hall.
Reprinted with permission from Area Wide News