EAST TAWAS – By a 7–0 vote, the East Tawas City Council approved the adoption of revised personnel policies and procedures at their regular meeting August 19. 

City Manager Brent Barringer said that these revisions bring the city in line with current state labor laws. Revisions in the policy include transitioning sick, vacation, and personal time off into a single time off category, now called Paid Time Off (PTO). According to Barringer, existing employees’ accumulated sick and vacation time will be rolled over to PTO at the end of the city’s fiscal year.

Other policy revisions relate to medical benefits, moving to employee-owned cellphones and away from city-owned devices, meal per diem reimbursements, modifying the holiday schedule, eliminating the clothing allowance, and increasing the amount of life insurance coverage for full-time employees.

At the same meeting, Barringer announced that the Department of Public Works has completed their pavement rating inspections. Bay, Westover and Lincoln streets were found to be in such good condition that they may be removed from the overlay project.

Fire Chief Bill Deckett said that he has received expressions of sympathy from other fire chiefs following the recent passing of East Tawas volunteer fireman Norman Klenow.

Parks Director Keith Frank reported that his department has hired an assistant manager who will start work on Oct. 1. Frank also announced that seasonal rates for year-round campers have been frozen. A request to use Dewey Durant Park as a launch site for an annual July 4 fireworks display was denied, according to Frank, in consideration of neighbors to the park. Frank also disclosed that new circuit training equipment has been donated to the city and will soon be placed in the community center.

Councilman Steve Klenow received unanimous approval to be excused from the next regularly scheduled city council meeting on Sept. 3. Klenow plans to attend the meeting via remote video conferencing.

A letter was received from Kevin Smith indicating his resignation from the East Tawas Housing Commission effective July 1. Council voted unanimously to accept his resignation with regrets.

A street closure request for Sept. 7 for the annual triathlon was approved.

Council unanimously approved several line item budget amendments relating to the major streets fund, the sewer fund and the water fund.

As the meeting came to a close, Barringer and several members of the council praised Deckett for his efforts to coordinate memorial services for his fallen comrade Norman Klenow. Councilman Mike Mooney stated that the fact that flags were flown at half-mast across the state on orders from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was a direct reflection on the level of respect Deckett has earned among his peers statewide. Councilwoman Blinda Baker echoed those sentiments, and praised Deckett’s leadership.