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Shawnee Has New City Manager And Treasurer

 

Countywide & Sun/Suzie Campbell

Shawnee City Clerk Lisa Laysone swears in Ashley Neel as the new Shawnee City Treasurer.

Chance Allison was named the new city manager for Shawnee and Ashley Neel was sworn in as the City Treasurer during the Shawnee Board of City Commissioners meeting Monday, July 15.

Eric Benson has only days left as the interim city manager, but he is confident Allison is the person to take over as city manager. The board agreed and offered Allison the position at a starting annual salary of $135,000. Benson will vacate the position at the close of business Aug. 2. Allison will officially take over at 5:30 pm that same day.

"Nine months ago, I was not convinced that it was the right thing to do to provide the entrée for a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) to become a city manager," Benson said, "especially one who had no experience. You have in Chance Allison the leader that you need. You have a key player, the director of personnel, a man who understands facts. But most importantly you have the loyalty of the city employees. He's shown himself to be a man of his people and he contributes to their success on a daily basis."

With Allison moving to his new position, Neel has also been approved by the board to move up from assistant financial director to Finance Director. After being sworn in as the city treasurer Neel said, "I really look forward to working with the City of Shawnee. I have been here a little over a year and I've really enjoyed it. I look forward to everything we're going to be able to accomplish in the future."

Police Chief Mason Wilson presented four newly promoted officers of the Shawnee Police Department to the board. "I want to recognize some officers that have excelled above and beyond in their career and were newly promoted to become new leaders in the police department," said Wilson.

First up was Captain John Goss, who will be over the entire patrol division. Next, Lt. Ethan Reeves was recognized as the new commander of day shift. Lt. George Stafford was recognized as the new commander of the evening shift. Finally, Lt. Lloyd Fulton was introduced as the new commander of the midnight shift.

"We have a great bunch of women and men at the Shawnee Police Department," said Wilson. "I'm proud of all of them and they've all really excelled to get to the position they're at, becoming leaders of departments."

The board approved a proposal for Tap Architecture to provide architectural design services for the renovation of the current First United Bank building located at 912 E. Independence, the future home of the police department. Wilson said, "I think their move out date is October, so we want to get everything in line so as soon as they vacate the building, we can start the process."

Allison said the acquisition and remodel budget was a little over three-million dollars and would be paid for out of the half cent sales tax.

"We've done an evaluation report," said Anthony McDermott with TAP Architecture. "We've considered the condition of the building from a structural standpoint, electrical and plumbing standpoint. We've done a report on the roof. There's been an environmental report done. We feel like we know the building pretty well. The bank building is in wonderful shape. It is well constructed and well maintained."

"It's going to be nice to get you guys out of the basement," said Commissioner Ron Gillham.

McDermott said there would be a complete budget with various options for the board to consider before the renovations begin.

Allison said the July sales tax deposit was $1,834,334.54, including interest of $2,153.21. According to the report presented to the board the money would be allocated as follows: General Fund $1,048,191.10; 2018 Capital Improvement Fund $262,047.79; Capital Improvements Fund $203,087.04; Street Improvement Fund $229,291.81; Economic Development Fund $26,204.78; Police Sales Tax Fund $32,755.97; and Fire Sales Tax Fund $32,755.97.

Allison also said use tax collections were up $110,528 or 89.42 percent over the projected year-to-date budget. The total sales and use tax collection for July 2019 was $2,068,470.45.

Countywide & Sun/Suzie Campbell

Pictured above, from left are, Shawnee Police Chief Mason Wilson, Cap. John Goss, Lt. Ethan Reeves, Lt. George Stafford and Lt. Lloyd Fulton.

The board also approved year end budget amendments for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 for fund 001 General Fund, Fund 106 Hotel/Motel, Fund 302 Street Improvement Fund, and Fund 709 Sister Cities Fund. To review these documents, look for the July 15 agenda under Meetings & Agendas on the City of Shawnee website located at http://www.shawneeok.org.

During the meeting of the Shawnee Airport Authority, the board approved the establishment of late fees of 1.5 percent on unpaid balances for products and services provided.

It also approved a contract with H.W. Lochner, Inc. for professional engineering services with a provision to negotiate fees on a project by project basis utilizing a pre-established rate schedule.

The board will hold its next regularly scheduled meeting on Aug. 5.

 

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