The Vandalia Leader

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Newly elected officials sworn in

Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2024 at 10:55 pm

Mayor Ralph Kuda Jr.; Ward II Alderman Janet Turner; and Ward III Alderman John Weiser were sworn in last Tuesday, April 9 by City Clerk Brandie Gay. Ward I Alderman Larry Shaw Alderman was absent from the City Council meeting.

Those present at the meeting were: Aldermen Larry Holt, John Weiser, Janet Turner, and Christy Lowrance; Mayor Ralph Kuda; City Administrator Darren Berry; City Clerk Brandie Gay; Administrative Assistant Terry Waters, City Attorney Amy Rost; Finance Officer Tricia Lower, Public Works Superintendent LeRoy Schlueter, Water & Wastewater Superintendent Ethan Clark and Electric Superintendent Aaron Rentfro;

Kuda, who won his sixth term as Vandalia mayor, called the meeting to order.

The aldermen approved meeting agenda.

They also approved the minutes from the council’s regular March meeting on March 9, and the special meeting held on March 14.

The council approved the accounts payable for March and then they acknowledged the certification of the April election results.

They also appointed an auditing firm for the ensuing year.

Gay explained to the council that the staff recommended the auditing firm of Dennis G. Koch, CPA as the firm for the ensuing year. After some discussion, the motion was approved unanimously.

The council also elected Weiser as mayor pro-tem for Vandalia.

They also approved the renewal of the MIRMA Loss Control Policy Statement. Waters explained to the council that the loss control policy statement communicates to managers, supervisors, and employees, management’s concerns for safety in the workplace.  It provides direction, expectations and responsibilities relating to safety for all employees. It conveys a message to employees that safety is important in their operation. Adopting a loss control policy statement is recommended by the city’s liability carrier (MIRMA) and it is a scored area on the city’s Annual Loss Control Evaluation performed by MIRMA. The policy must be reviewed and approved every three years. Alderman Holt made a motion to approve the renewal of the MIRMA Loss Control Policy Statement.

The aldermen also approved the Semi-Annual Statement and authorized publication. Lower informed the council that every year the city has to present the statement to Board of Aldermen for approval and publication as required by law. This statement is prepared in accordance with State Statute.

The IT service contract with MPUA RSC was also approved. Berry explained how the IT services program is built around the products MPUA would be deploying and administrating for the city’s network.

• A $20 per device, (8 devices) per month fee would cover all of the following components:

• RMM-Patch management and remote access for support.

• RocketCyber-24/7 Security operations center monitoring events.

• Graphus-Robust email filtering.

• Darkweb ID-Monitors any breached info that can be found on the dark web.

• Bullphish-Phish testing and training like Knowbe4 offers.

The Aldermen aprproved the contract.

Berry informed the council that last year the city saw an increase of 14% to its health insurance plan. The original increase was to be 16%, but it was able to drop that cost by 2% by transferring the dental and vision to the Anthem plan.

This year’s plan has a 7.9% increase. Over the past couple of years, the city has been a member of the Missouri Chamber Federation. By being a member of the MCF the city was able access their insurance program. The Missouri Chamber benefit plans allow smaller employers to offer quality health care coverage to their employees at a reasonable price.

These plans use a multiple employer welfare arrangement model to enable small businesses to join and share in the overall claims risk by being part of a larger self-funded pool. Other companies were checked to to compare costs. Allstate, AETNA, and Trustmark will not quote Municipalities. Midwest Public Risk also declined to provide a quote.

Two other companies, United Health Care, and MIRMA Health, both were more expensive than what the city was quoted through MCF Anthem Blue Preferred plan. Last year we offered two options for health insurance to our employees. One plan had a $2,000/$4,000 deductible and the other plan had a deductible of $2,500/$5,000.  The annual premium for last year’s plans was $220,260.80. The same two plans as last year, were proposed, but also adding two more optional plans. The first plan has a deductible of $5,000/$10,000 and the other has a deductible of $6,500/$13,000. By offering these two new plans, our yearly increase lowered from 7.9% to 5.08% resulting in an annual premium of $231,319.68.

After some discussion, Weiser made a motion to approve the city health insurance plans. Alderman Turner seconded the motion which carried unanimously.