Meetings watch: Portales City Council meeting

Here are three additional things you should know about Tuesday’s Portales City Council meeting:

• The Portales Police Department is upping its recruitment efforts with a new compensation plan.

The Portales City Council approved a newly proposed pay plan for department employees, which was presented by acting Chief Pat Gallegos and City Manager Doug Redmond.

Although the salaries for entry level patrol officers and non-certified patrol officers went unchanged, salary increases for the other positions range from 11 percent to 29 percent.

For example, the new plan pays the highest ranking patrol officers about $52,000 a year. An officer at that same rank would be paid a little more than $40,000 with the old plan.

Gallegos said the pay scale was needed for the department to compete with other agencies. The department is struggling to find qualified applicants, then pays up to $50,000 in training costs for each non-certified officer hired, only to see them leave a few years later for departments offering more money.

Gallegos said that of the department’s 25 employees, only 14 are certified, meaning more than half of the department cannot be used for patrol.

He also noted that 44 officials have left the department within the last five years, so the plan includes longevity incentives for officers.

The approval of the plan will cost an additional $82,000 from what was budgeted but will be covered by savings from staffing shortages.

• The next municipal election is near.

The council approved an election resolution which declared a regular municipal election of municipal officers will be held on March 4, 2014.

The offices of mayor, municipal judge and one councilor from each ward will be voted on in the election. Each position has a four-year term.

All declarations of candidacy must be filed with the municipal clerk on Jan. 7, 2014.

Early voting will take place between Feb. 12-28 and absentee voting will take place between Jan. 28 and Feb. 28.

• Adoption Day is marked for Monday at the Roosevelt County Courthouse.

Mayor Pro Tem Ron Jackson proclaimed Monday as Adoption Day in Portales. The Ninth Judicial District Court and the New Mexico Children Youth and Families Department are hosting an Adoption Day event to celebrate and finalize adoptions in the area.

The event will take place at 10 a.m., at the Roosevelt County Courthouse.

— Compiled by PNT senior writer Christina Calloway

 

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