JEFFERSON — Sometimes a key retirement in a governmental department can set off a chain reaction in which people are slotted, upwards, into positions to compensate for the loss and that is what happened this week at the Jefferson Police Department.
The Jefferson Common Council on Tuesday evening agreed to move several of its police department staff members one position up, as longtime Jefferson Police Department officer, Capt. Dale Lutz, announced his retirement. It is effective June 2.
Lutz, as captain, has been second in command, which means his retirement allows Lt. Alan Richter to move up to captain — and second in command — behind Chief Kenneth Pileggi.
Officer Austin Schmidt will move from patrol officer to lieutenant. Kevin Harper is being hired as a full-time patrol officer to replace Schmidt.
During a relatively brief meeting Tuesday night, in which aldermen attended the session remotely, city officials conducted a public hearing on possible amending of city floodplain maps, but no members of the public spoke. The council decided to move the agenda item to one of its June regular meetings for likely approval.
At a meeting of the committee of the whole this week, the panel went through recommendations for reopening city facilities.
According to Mayor Dale Oppermann, the public library will open next week to patrons and the senior center will be one of the last city facilities to reopen in light of the COVID-19 crisis.
City officials are debating whether to reopen the pool, at all, this summer and Oppermann said there will be a gradual reopening of parks and their shelters as the spring and summer progress.
Oppermann said Executive Director Jen Pinnow of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce “has been doing a great job” of coordinating resources from the state and federal governments that will help Jefferson’s small businesses recover from the pandemic shutdown.
The mayor also said the city could be eligible for a FEMA grant for the extra costs of providing city services during the pandemic.