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Pass aldermen approve drug policy change

The Pass Christian Board of Aldermen voted 4-0 to amend the City’s Alcohol and Drug Testing Policy which will add testing for four semi-synthetic opioids, which is consistent with new Federal Regulation of the DOT and as recommended by the city’s drug testing consultant, Judy Krup with Random, Inc.

The four semi-synthetic drugs that will be added to the list of drugs to the City’s new policy effective January 1, 2018, are hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, and oxymorphone.

“Safety-sensitive employees, basically people who drive vehicles and operate equipment,” Pass Christian City Attorney Malcolm Jones said are the employees who will be randomly screened.

Jones said that the drug policy calls for the random screening of twenty-five percent of employees. He said the lab the city hired uses a computer program to select employees for screening.

The board also voted to accept the letter of resignation from Beautification Director John W. Jones, but they agreed to table the advertising for filling the vacancy until next month after discussion of Alderman Regina Charlot’s recommendation of moving the position to fall under the umbrella of Public Works.

“When you put it [the position of beautification director] under Public Works, you save the city money,” said Charlot. “You save the department head salary, you save retirement, and insurance. When I worked for the city back in the ‘90s, everything was under one umbrella, and it worked very well.”

Aldermen also approved two applications by the Pass Christian Police Department to apply for two $15,000 grants, one from the Mississippi Office of Highway Safety FY19 Police Traffic Services Grant and the Occupant Protection Grant. Both grants are to repay the city for overtime hours. The first grant also covers a solar speed sign. The second grant includes measures to increase seatbelt usage and reduce injuries resulting from not wearing seatbelts.

“My ultimate goal is to reduce traffic fatalities,” said Police Chief Tim Hendricks.

“The city has had one [fatality] in each of the last three years. One is too many.”

The city voted 4-0 to approve the recommendations of the police department.

In other business:

  • The board approved the waiver of fees and use of the pavilion on Davis Avenue for the Gulf Coast Bicycle
    Club’s use on March 10, 2018. They also tabled the role of the Pass Christian Police Department in this event until details could be worked out by PCPD.
  • Eddie Holmes, president of the Gulf Coast Bicycling Club told the board that the City of Pass Christian will be covered under their insurance policy.
  • City attorney Jones gave an update on the splash pad construction. He said construction is complete, and a manufacturer’s representative will test it some time in mid-January.
  • Mayor Chipper McDermott introduced Joel Simms, the city’s new building inspector. Alderman Victor Pickich was not present.

Story By Maurice Singleton

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