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2014-11-13

City may extend garbage contract,new deputy marshal on horizon

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Terry Gawlik, community relations manager for Republic Services, the City of Bandera's current waste management - aka garbage collection - asked city council to negotiate a long-term contract with his company. The request came during a meeting Thursday, Nov. 6.
Republic Services has provided garbage pickup in the city since 2000, he said. "Since then we've been a partner in this community," Gawlik said. "You've never heard the word 'no' come out of our mouths." He estimated that approximately 6 percent of the company's total billing, which amounts to $18,000 a year, finds its way back to the Bandera community. "We're here and we help out." Republic Services contract with the city will expire in May 2015.
To bolster his case for an extended contract, Gawlik referenced the City of Pleasanton. The city recently signed a 10-year contract with Republic Services with two additional five-year options. "Call the City of Pleasanton and see why this is good for the citizens," he urged local officials.
To sweeten the pot, Gawlik said there would be no price increases for services from October 2014 to October 2015. Additionally, any rate increases from October 2015 to October 2016 is off the table. "We also plan to pay the city 5 percent of our revenues," Gawlik said. "We'll cut you a check."
Councilman Suzanne Schauman asked Gawlik about projected increases for businesses.
"That price is controlled by the CPI (Consumer Price Index) and is limited to 2.5 to 3 percent," he explained.
Both Schauman and Mayor Don Clark praised the service provided by Republic Services. Mayor Clark was particularly gratified that sanitation workers brought cans out of the street for the city's senior citizens.
Mayor Pro Tem John Hegemier wanted to leave an option open to entertain other bids from companies, most notably Vacquero.
"Vacquero has a home owners association, but they don't have any cities as yet," Gawlik said. He added, "Bandera is important to me. I had to ask my boss for permission to cut prices in this city."
In the end, city council approved allowing City Administrator Lamar Schulz to negotiate an extended contract with Gawlik and Republic Services.
In addition, Gawlik denied ever giving Spurs tickets to city elected officials.
Municipal Judge Frances Kaiser had asked council to approve hiring Jannett Peiper as municipal court clerk. A sticking point, however, was her boost in salary from its current $12 per hour to $14 per hour on Jan. 1.
"I can't go along with giving her a raise in just 60 day," Schauman said. "We'll have every other employee picketing us if we do that."
Councilman Jim Hannah suggested that the raise be delayed for six months.
Council then attempted to second-guess Kaiser's choice of Pieper. Out of a possible 12 applicants, the choices were winnowed down to three, Schulz said. "(Ms. Pieper) was head and shoulders above the rest," he added.
Schulz added that Pieper would work no more than 29 hours per week and does not have benefits. "She also does the work more efficiently because she's had more experience," Schulz said. Previously, Pieper had served as Kerr County clerk for 14 years.
"The lady's doing a good job and I'd like to see her stay with us," Mayor Clark said.
The request was tabled to enable Schulz to "work the numbers."
In other business, by a 3-1 decision with Hannah casting the "nay" vote, council approved allowing Marshal Will Dietrich to advertise for a deputy marshal to fill a vacant 32-hour position.
He told council that he had no officer working on two Saturdays and four Sundays when reserve officers take up the slack. "I hate having gaps in service," Dietrich said. "The 32-hour position would allow an officer to patrol during the week and on every Saturday and Sunday.
Mayor Clark said he would like to see an officer on duty from 3 pm Saturday to 3 am Sunday.
While appreciating the work of reserve offices, Schauman said she would prefer having a "qualified officer who understands how to take care of Bandera. The reserve officers don't know Bandera. They're just not one of us." She continued, "I think the marshal's department is doing a fantastic job and I'm all for a 32-hour position."
Hesitant to approve the position, Hannah noted that the city is still a part of the county. He felt the sheriff's department should take up the slack, which would save the city money. "If the funding wasn't there, we would be coordinating (law enforcement coverage), so why not do it now?"
Meanwhile, Dietrich expected to garner some good applicants for the 32-hour position.