Local News

Tuesday, Nov 06 2012 06:00 AM

Bear Valley negotiates contracts

The Bear Valley Community Services District Board of Directors negotiated contracts with its new Public Works Superintendent and Chief of Police in a meeting on Oct. 11.

Albert Laurence Tuma, a Bear Valley resident, began work on Oct. 2 as Public Works Superintendent for the district. Tuma requested the opportunity to negotiate with the board on some of the details of his contract. His concerns related to the notice of intent not to renew his contract.

He requested the notice be set at 60 days for both his notice if he chose not to renew and that the board give him 60 days notice if they chose not to renew. The board agreed.

He also requested the removal of the $400 monthly car allowance from the contract and that his salary be increased by that amount. After much discussion the board agreed to the change, also increasing the salary range for the position by $4800 per year.

Unlike his predecessor Tuma will not be allowed to take home a company vehicle. He will have to pick it up and return it daily to the district equipment yard. Other requested changes in the contract were rejected for legal reasons.

The contract for Chief of Police Joe Pilkington was also up for negotiation. The issues of his contract related to retroactive pay to July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year, term of contract, termination, car and salary increases. Pilkington requested his contract be for five years and retroactive to July 1.

Based on the fact that all other new contracts for employees are being limited to three years the board insisted the term remain at three years.

The board agreed after much discussion to make the contract retroactive to July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year as it was also the time at which Pilkington was ask to extend his Interim status out of concern of the ability of the CSD to find a new chief before his interim agreement expired.

The salary increase issue was resolved by replacing a standard clause in the contract that had been removed in error. The termination issue was also resolved by inserting the same language as was used in Tuma’s contract related to the 60 day notice clause for either party.

Full time use of an automobile became an issue. Pilkington lives 50 miles away in Bakersfield. However, he did note that he has purchased a home in Bear Valley and will be moving there in the future after his daughter finishes high school.

The original contract called for a limit of 20 miles each way for take home use of a vehicle. Pilkington noted that it is common for a police chief to have a full time vehicle. The board bounced around from 20 miles to 50 miles as a limit. Finally, Pilkington suggested that the district follow the a system used in the sheriff’s department. The chief would be able to use the vehicle full time, including take home, with no mileage limitations in exchange for paying a fee for that privilege. The fee was set at $25 per pay period. The contract was then agreed to with both parties satisfied.

Other matters
In other business the board rejected a proposal from Hiway Motors to purchase the gas station owned by Mike and Cathy Beck located at 26900 Bear Valley Road. It was felt the district could not operate the station and there was no other value to them in the purchase.

Linda LeLievre made a presentation to the board that for any district project over $100,000 the standards of Prop. 218 be followed. Her proposal was not clear and the board asked that she address them once her idea is better formulated.

The next meeting of the board is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. in the board room of the CSD building.

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