April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Hope police look to part-time help

By HSJ Online [email protected]

The Hope Police Department will be turning to part-time help as the town marshal recovers from surgery.

Marshal Matt Tallent told the Town Council this week in a special meeting that he needed to juggle schedules while he is out of the office for foot surgery. Tallent said that he is due to go in for an operation later this month, and that for two weeks he will be completely immobilized. After that, he will be in a wheelchair for a number of weeks until he recovers.

Tallent said that to bridge the gap, he proposed bringing in a part-time officer for about 30 hours a week at $10 an hour. He also plans to ask reserve officers to increase their level of help during his down-time.

Tallent said that he planned to take a combination of sick pay and vacation time for the two weeks he is completely immobilized. But after recovering from the complete immobilization period, Tallent also asked that he be allowed to return to work in a limited capacity. He said there are several administrative projects that he would like to tackle during the down time, including updating standard operating procedures and digitizing old records. However, the Hope Police Department does not have a job description for an administrative officer and he sought the council's approval for his work role while unable to take to the streets.

Clerk-Treasurer Diane Burton said there was money in the budget to cover the costs of the part-time help and the town could dip into the Motor Vehicle Highway funds if needed.

Tallent said he had a reserve officer in mind to take the paid hours while he is laid up.

The Town Council approved the requested changes.

The council also discussed a change to the town's building and zoning administrator. Tim Shoaf has had that role since earlier this year, but Shoaf has informed the board that his full-time work has been taking up more of his time and he is only able to respond to direct complaints from residents, rather than police the town for violations.

The council agreed to begin advertising for a new person to fill that position. Ideally, the hire would be someone retired or with abundant free time to apply to the work and knowledgeable about the building and zoning rules in the town.[[In-content Ad]]