The LaFollette City Council considers changes to drug testing policy

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At the Feb. 25 workshop, the LaFollette City Council discussed making changes to the city’s drug testing policy.

LaFollette City Council Member Bob Fannon asked who the policy requires be tested for drug use.

“You’d be a good suspect Bob, since you’re running a drug store,” council member Hansford Hatmaker said.

Elected officials, the city attorney and the city judge are exempt from the drug testing policy, interim-city administrator Jimmy Jeffries said.

The policy requires city employees undergo random drug screens, but the council could amend it to include elected officials, city attorney Reid Troutman said.

The language of the current policy addresses employees who work 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, some city employees work irregular hours. Their work situation isn’t addressed by the policy. The policy addresses employees who are on vacation, but it doesn’t provide guidelines for those who are simply off the clock. These employees might be asked to come in for a drug test on their own time.

“We can call people in, and it doesn’t require paying them overtime,” Jeffries said.

The purpose of a random drug screen is its random nature, Troutman said.

Grimm asked how long the process took.

It takes less than 30 minutes, Jeffries said.

“My opinion is bring them in,” Fannon said.

The council discussed the possibility of amending the policy to compensate employees who come in for drug screenings on their days off.

“My personal opinion is it would not constitute working,” Troutman said.

The council will vote on an ordinance to amend the policy at Tuesday’s meeting.


At Tuesday’s meeting, the council will also vote to reappoint department heads.

At the Feb. 25 workshop, the council discussed whether to reappoint the department heads with a single action, or one at a time.

Hatmaker recommended doing it all at once unless there was an issue that needed to be addressed with an individual.

“We need a copy of (Wes Hatmaker’s) driver’s license, where it’s been reinstated,” Fannon said.

“I’ll get a copy of that,” Jeffries said.

LaFollette City Traffic Judge Wes Hatmaker was arrested for driving without a license late last year. His charges were dropped when he later proved he had the license reinstated.

The council will also appoint a vice mayor at Tuesday’s meeting. Hansford Hatmaker served as vice mayor for the past four years. The council will make a motion to either reappoint Hatmaker or appoint a new vice mayor.

“Any complaints about the one you’ve got?” Hatmaker asked. “I’m not talking about you Bob, you’ve always got complaints.”

Short term and long term disability insurance

At Tuesday’s meeting, the council will vote whether to provide dental insurance, life insurance and long-term and short-term disability for city employees. Along with health insurance, this will cost $92,785.

Health insurance will cost $36,500, dental insurance will cost $23,416, long-term and short-term disability will cost $25,145 and life insurance will cost $7,724.

Police Department

Jeffries recommended promoting Rick Ford to staff sergeant. His salary will be increased to $35,500.

“The job he’s doing requires him to have a higher rank than the people he’s dealing with,” Jeffries said.