Mayor Butch Grenz appointed Shawn Quinlan Tuesday night at the Miles City Council meeting as the new assistant prosecutor. Deputy City Attorney/Prosecutor Jeff Noble has chosen to leave his position.
Also that night, the council approved Resolution No. 3669, the agreement with Lucas and Tonn, where Quinlan works, for the service.
Noble will be leaving sometime this year, and until then Quinlan will assist with the caseload.
Quinlan will be making the same wage, about $30 an hour, as Noble.
City Attorney Dan Rice said Quinlan grew up in Forsyth, and his office is “real impressed with him.”
In other business, City Judge Al Homme informed the council that recently city court has been overloaded. He noted the increase has been since September.
Also, he’s been “flooded” with suppression hearings, which are like mini trials, he explained.
Regular trials have increased also. He said in his first four years, he had two jury trials, and in the past month he has had four and has about 20 scheduled through June.
From 2009 to 2013, revenue is up 61 percent, he added.
Homme said the police department is doing a fine job and Noble is doing a fine job. More tickets are being written, so there is more work to do.
He theorizes that more new young attorneys in the public defenders office may account for more cases going to trial, since he does not see an increase in trials with the older attorneys.
Homme doubts that three days a week is enough for the deputy attorney position, which is what is budgeted for now.
He’d also like more secretarial staff.
Homme said he didn’t realize how much stress Noble had with the workload.
In other news:
-- A public informational meeting will be held for Miles City flood protection at 6 p.m. March 6 in Room 106 at Miles Community College. This is not a public input meeting - that will come later. This meeting is the first step in analyzing the options Miles City has.
-- Councilman Jerry Partridge again brought up requiring coal and oil trains to slow down in the city limits in light of the train derailment near Terry this week.
When trains carrying crude oil come through town, we have a right to be worried, he said.
In 1997, the city told the railroad it needed to go 15 mph in town, and while they wanted to go 50 mph, they backed down, Partridge said.
It was suggested that the police department start checking the train speed to see how fast they are going.
-- Following the advice of committees, the council decided to stay with CPI for water and sewer collections, and to eliminate the employee handbook (because it is duplicated elsewhere).
-- Resolution No. 3664, which revises family and medical leave guidelines in the personnel policy to meet federal requirements, was passed unanimously.
-- Resolution No. 3665 passed unanimously. It is an agreement for the city to make use of cold millings from federal aid projects by the state for surfacing material on streets.
-- Resolution No. 3667, the annual agreement with the state for partial funding of the historic preservation officer, was passed. The city provides a 40 percent match.
-- The council approved a request to adjust the Kron boundary property line, where Paco Packers is located.