ISLAND CITY — Island City’s city council gave a proposed new contact with the Union County Sheriff’s Office a thumbs up on Feb. 15.
The city council voted in support of the contract, which is similar to the one now in place. The pact, which would take effect July 1, now must be ratified by the Union County Board of Commissioners.
The contract calls for Island City to continue receiving 80 hours of enhanced law enforcement service from the Union County Sheriff’s Office a month. The contract like the present one, would automatically go up 1.5 percent each year on July 1 to allow for cost of living pay increases. The contract, also like the current one, will remain in place indefinitely unless one party pulls out or a change is negotiated .
The big difference between the proposed new contact and the current one is that if at any time the city or the sheriff’s office wants to change or cancel the pact a 120-day notice must be given. The current pact requires that a one-year notice be given before changes can be negotiated or one party can pull out of the contract.
“This (the 120-day notice requirement) would give both parties greater flexibility,’’ Comfort said.
The proposed new contract also calls for the sheriff’s office to have the same individual from the Union Count Sheriff’s Office to provide reports about the past month’s law enforcement activities, at the city council regular monthly council meetings, for six-month rotations.
“This would help continuity,’’ said Island City Mayor David Comfort.
This is the first contract being negotiated between Island City and the Union County Sheriff’s Office with Cody Bowen as sheriff. Bowen was elected as Union County’s new sheriff in November and participated in the negotiations. Comfort was impressed with Bowen’s input during bargaining sessions.
“He brought a lot of energy to the negotiations,’’ Comfort said.