NEW FRANKLIN  Finance Director Susan Cooke will now have the same benefits other department heads in the city have.

During the March 21 council meeting, New Franklin council approved to clarify the benefits package for Cooke, which left out several aspects other department heads have. Members of council were provided with a list of what the other employees receive and what the finance director doesn’t receive.

Cooke is salary and said she doesn’t get vacation, personal days, or holidays paid.

Mayor Paul Adamson said all other department heads are on salary and they don’t work holidays, but they get paid their normal salary.

"It doesn’t seem fair does it," Adamson said.

The mayor said when he took office he discovered this and he wanted to clear it up, that is why he put a resolution before council.

Councilman Jim Cotts raised some questions and said he is shocked the finance director position has been in place for two years and the same benefits aren’t offered to her.

"It is hard for me to believe we are in this situation," Cotts said.

Adamson said he appreciates the questions asked and said it is important that the city have a council that is engaged and asks questions. He said when he took over he met with every department head and looked at how things are run and what needs each department has.

"We just didn’t pull this stuff out of the air," Adamson said. "We have got to all work together, but that doesn’t mean you have to agree with me."

In other business March 21, council:

- Approved authorizing the transfer of funds from the General Fund to the Police District and Dispatch Funds. 

- Approved for New Franklin to enter into an agreement with Sun Life Financial for life, voluntary life and voluntary vision insurance for New Franklin’s self-insurance plan. This is a company the city has been using for years.

- Approved to adopt the 2018 annual operating appropriation budget for the General Fund and all other funds for the city of New Franklin. Cotts reviewed some of the past years and said in 2016 the city brought in $9.1 million in revenue and spent $8.5 million in expenses. In 2017, the city brought in $11.7 million and spent $11.8 million. Finance Director Susan Cooke said it is important to note that those numbers don’t take into consideration the carryover money, which is normally around $2 million. Expenses and revenue are expected to be similar around $12.9 million for 2018, but Adamson said to keep in mind that the expenses number relates to appropriations that have been made. He said the appropriations normally come in under and there is money left over.

- Heard from Adamson about the closing of Cope Pharmacy in the city. He said it cannot be replaced. He also announced the passing of former councilman Gust Kalapodis, who had recently resigned due to health issues. Kalapodis was Ward 4 Councilman for 10 years. Adamson said the service he provided to the community will be missed and to God bless him and his family.

- Heard from Adamson also about some concerns residents had during a past meeting with Republic Waste. He said the city has received a few more complaints and the city is logging the issues and streets it is happening on. Adamson said he spoke with Republic and they encouraged residents to put complaints on Republic’s website because the complaints will go straight to dispatch who then contact the driver to get the issue resolved as soon as possible.

- Announced there will be a shredding day for residents of New Franklin from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 28.

- Entered executive session for the purpose of real estate with no action taken.