Martin gets extension, raise for 'superb job'

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Fort Scott City Commission voted Tuesday to extend the contract for its city administration and give him a raise.

Before approving a new contract for Dave Martin, commissioners held a brief executive session to discuss non-elected personnel to protect their privacy.

City Attorney Bob Farmer said the commission should vote on Martin's compensation and the contract extension. Currently Martin is currently being paid $80,000 and is in a three-year contract, which Farmer said after the meeting is a "rolling three-year contract," with an annual renewal.

The commission voted to extend his contract for another year with an annual salary of $89,500.

Prior to the vote, Farmer said the commission had been discussing Martin's evaluation for several weeks.

"They met to confer with themselves if they had anything," Farmer said. "Now they have the opportunity to do whatever they want to do with the city manager -- offer him a new contract or have discussions."

Lucas Cosens, who as commission president presided over the meeting in absence of Mayor Cindy Bartelsmeyer, led the discussion by complimenting Martin.

"In my opinion, you're doing a superb job," Cosens said. "The city is, at least to my extent of being on the commission, has been an enjoyable experience. The city is prospering and that is in part due to your managing."

"There have been times when this has not been a good place to be and people didn't feel like they could come and share their experiences, good or bad because sometimes it would be a knock-down, drag-out practically," commissioner Jean Parker said. "It's amazing the difference. I also think you have done a superb job. I think you have taken our city in a much better direction. I think people do feel very comfortable coming here and coming to us and that also feeds off of you, directly and indirectly."

Commissioner Sam Mason echoed the sentiments expressed by Cosens and Parker.

"I think we have peace in the city," Mason said. "We are growing and prospering our businesses and the city getting its dues. Things that have been needed to be done for years and is going. When you get two industries that donate over $4 million to a city, how could you deny that and the person who is the head of the program is the city manager? And he's done one hell of a job in my opinion."

Later, Martin thanked the commission and said he strives to be, and encourages city staff, to always be transparent.

"The thing I like about this job is everything I do is transparent," Martin said. "In the corporate world, that isn't always true. People may not always agree with what you're doing, but at least you can show them why you made the decision, or the commission made the decision."

He also complimented the city staff and the community.

"Another thing I've learned, I'm only as good as my people," Martin said.


Following a public hearing, the commission voted to give the property owner of the old Keys building, located at 520 E. Wall St., 30 days to repair or demolish the building.

Prior to accepting a certificate of appropriateness for the demolition of the property,

City Codes Director Brent Crays reported the property owner, Greg Schick, has been working on the building and last week requested a demolition permit, but Crays said he told Schick he would not be issued a permit until after Tuesday's meeting.

The Design Review Board on Sept. 23 voted to recommend moving forward with demolition of the building, but Crays said it was "a little bit reluctantly" because the building "has some nice features."

"There's not a lot I can say about it, other than the fact it's going to come down, whether we do nothing or whatever, it's going to come down," Crays said. "It's falling down on the back side."

He recommended the commission pass a resolution giving Schick 45 days to repair or remove the building.

Commissioner Sam Mason said the commission has already allowed the property owner six months to repair or demolish the building. He made a motion to give the owner 30 days to remove what he wants from the building before it is demolished.

* A resolution also was passed giving the owner of a house on 208 N. Crawford St. 30 days to repair or demolish the house.

"This has been kind of a sleeper property," Crays said, as a photo of the house was shown to commissioners. "The issue is, I was called over there because there was a lot of trash trees, grass issues and weeds. The picture really doesn't do justice to how bad the structure is."

He said the roof has multiple layers of shingles and there are "severe places it cannot be leaking into the house."

The property owner attended the meeting and was invited to speak. She asked how long she would have to get items out of the house. Martin asked if she could have everything out within 30 days and she said she would.

* A certificate of appropriateness was accepted by the committee for demolition of the Western Tower Building located at 8 E. First St.

Crays said the Design Review Board has recommended the structure be demolished, as it is "not contributing to the Historic District, so it was not as controversial as some of the other buildings."

There will be a test alert at noon Friday on the Code Red alert system, which sends emergency notifications to all cell phones. The public can sign up online at and click on the Code RED logo to enroll additional contact

information including cell phone numbers, text and email addresses.

Work on upgrading the dispatch center continues. Ballou said furniture has been ordered but is on back order.

Other commission business

* The commission approved a request from Fort Scott Police Chief Travis Shelton to close the 500 block of Judson Street to accommodate a two-day auction of the Ken Lunt property on Nov. 1 and 2.

* Fort Scott Fire Chief Paul Ballou reported the department will be holding Fire Prevention Month education programs with students this month.

* Martin announced country music star Luke Bryan is organizing a national fundraising campaign for the future LaRoche Baseball Complex.