Looking at changes

911 Commission approves subcommittee to review possible amendments to 28E agreement

Changes may be coming for a 28E agreement on 911 employee salaries and benefits after a Marshall County Communications Commission meeting Tuesday evening.

The commission unanimously approved the creation of a subcommittee on personnel policies and management; that subcommittee will also review potential amendments to the 28E agreement.

“I see some needs in the personnel policy … I think it’s important to form a subcommittee,” said commission member and Marshall County Emergency Management Agency coordinator Kim Elder.

The subcommittee will include three members of the commission and two members of the Technical Oversight Board (TOB), which provides recommendations to the commission; specific subcommittee members were not decided Tuesday.

The commission oversees an estimated $992,412 for 911 employee salaries and benefits, as well as the levy for those funds. It was formed in January, and includes the mayors of Marshall County cities or their proxies, Marshall County Sheriff Steve Hoffman, Elder and Marshall County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Patten.

The TOB consists of the police chiefs of Marshalltown, Melbourne and State Center, the Marshalltown Fire Chief, and representatives from UnityPoint Health, the Marshall County Fire Association and the Marshall County EMS Association.

“This group, you can really tell we all want to do the right thing, but some of us don’t have as much time as others,” Elder said of the subcommittee to the 12 other commission members present Tuesday.

Additionally, the commission approved Teresa Lang as the communications manager to oversee the 911 operators. Lang, who has worked as a local 911 employee for nearly three decades, had previously been acting as the communications manager on an interim basis.

The commission also approved personnel policies as recommended by the TOB. Those policies were based on previous 911 communications policies from the City of Marshalltown.

The personnel policies that was approved Tuesday was written up by Marshalltown Human Resources Director Jill Petermeier. She had included language from the 911 operators’ previous union contract from when they were city employees.

Hoffman said the union contract language should eventually be separated from the personnel policies and stand on its own.

“My recommendation is you have a [union] contract for contract-negotiated issues and, absent that, you have standard operating procedures and policies, general orders,” he said.

Elder agreed with Hoffman.

“I think it’s a really good starting place if we can pull that union stuff out,” she said.

Marshalltown City Administrator Jessica Kinser, who acted as a proxy for commission chairman and Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer at Tuesday’s meeting, said she would direct Petermeier to take union contract language out of the personnel policies.

The commission adopted the 911 employees’ previous union contract provisions at a meeting earlier this year; that contract was set to end in 2020.

The next Marshall County Communications Commission meeting is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 27 at the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, 2369 Jessup Ave.


Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611 or asodders@timesrepublican.com