Goshen City Council held their annual mid-year retreat Tuesday, July 30, where they listened to reports from department heads, as well as Mayor Allan Kauffman.
Here’s what a handful of people said at the meeting:
- Police Chief Wade Branson said the number of cases that required follow-up and investigation doubled between 2011 and 2012. He said he’d like to add two officers in 2014, as the recommended number of officers is 2.3 per 1,000 residents and Goshen is currently operating at approximately 1.8.
- Denny Long, Street Department Commissioner, also said he would like to bring on two more employees in the next year. He explained that the city’s continued growth will strain his workforce and part-time workers have been harder to come by.
- Discussing the Building Department, Director of Community Development Mark Brinson stated the department was having issues with turnover in the code inspector position, which is troubling due to the amount of time spent training individuals for the position and understanding the neighborhoods. He also said the various inspectors within the department have been spread thin with increased duties.
- Brinson, speaking for the Planning and Zoning Department, said they are currently working on the city’s comprehensive plan, required every 10 years. The department is constructing the plan in-house, rather than hiring an outside firm to assist them, and will also be working with other local governing bodies to establish a county-wide fee structure.
- Park Superintendent Sheri Howland noted a significant need for additional employees, saying her staff was too small to continue to keep up with the approximately 501 acres of park land in the city.
- Dustin Sailor, Utilities Engineer for the city, said he’d like to add another employee in the next year as well. The Stormwater Department, he said, is not as effective as it could be as far as completing maintenance, and the additional employee would focus specifically on that element.
It’s worth noting that several of the requests to fill positions throughout departments would not actually create new positions. Some of those were already budgeted for 2013 in case vacancies could be filled but, as of this time, remain open.
Many who spoke praised the city for the way it is run and stated their appreciation to other departments for working so well together. Though many work a lot of overtime due to the number of employees each department has, several speakers noted the amount of work put in by the city employees showed their dedication to improving the city of Goshen and the quality of life for residents.