The Dunsmuir City Council last week authorized Mayor Bryce Craig to execute an agreement with top city manager candidate Mark Brannigan, whose background includes 17 years as a public works supervisor.

Councilors also approved changes in compensation and benefits for City employees and approved an expansion of the flag area at the cemetery during their March 16, 2017 regular meeting.

Firefighter of the Year

United States Forest Service and Dunsmuir City firefighter Brian Taylor was recognized and commended by the City Council for being selected as Dunsmuir’s Firefighter of the Year and a Siskiyou County Firefighter of the Year.

Mayor Craig said Taylor is a long-time Dunsmuir resident who attended Dunsmuir High School and later attended the College of the Siskiyou’s Fire Academy and was certified as an Emergency Medical Technician. He is employed by the Forest Service as a firefighter and is a member of the National Ski Patrol. Taylor joined Dunsmuir Fire Department as a volunteer in February 2015 and has participated in 84 percent of department training sessions and 65 percent of emergency calls.

“Brian and fellow firefighters recently responded to a call where a patient was unresponsive and pulseless,” said Craig. “Using his training, Brian and team were able to provide critical treatment leading to resuscitation. Today, that person is living a normal and healthy lifestyle.”

Craig said, “Brian has always been well-respected for his dedication, great work ethic, and always-positive attitude. Therefore as Mayor of the City of Dunsmuir, I do hereby recognize and commend Brian Taylor for his exemplary life and achievements and for being recognized by his peers on the Dunsmuir Fire Department and his peers on the Siskiyou County Fire Departments designating him Firefighter of the Year.”

With applause from City Council and the audience, Taylor accepted his commendation with a handshake from the Mayor.

City Manager

The first agenda item for the evening was for City Council to consider and authorize the Mayor of Dunsmuir to execute an agreement with Mark Brannigan for services as City Manager.

City councilor Bruce Deutsch said, “We were looking for someone who was essentially a department head for a medium sized City, and while we were open and took in all information and had 20 applications, we ended up with someone who is exactly that way. Mark Brannigan has spent about 15 years as Infrastructure Supervisor for Edwards Air Force Base, and then spent about 17 years in public works as a Public Works Supervisor in Lakeport.”

A motion was made by Dave Keisler with a second by Deutsch, ending in unanimous approval.

Downtown Street Tree Project

Councilors unanimously approved an agenda item to review, consider, and provide direction regarding the Downtown Street Tree Project.

Candace Miller, who wrote the plan for the Tree Project, said the trees in front of the Dunsmuir city offices, which are Red Oaks and Sycamores, are trees that can grow up to 70 and 80 feet and do not mix well with sidewalks, as their root systems can cause damage and lift parts of the walkway. The Downtown Street Tree Project would remove those trees and replace them with trees that pair better with sidewalks and only grow to about 30 feet when fully matured.

“There are about nine trees within the City that need to go and are on their way out,” said Miller. “The placement of the new trees is up to Public Works so that they don’t block traffic signs.”

Deutsch moved to direct staff to arrange for replacement of the downtown street trees within Candace Miller’s report and that the care and maintenance of the trees also be investigated with the costs of the project to be brought back to the City Council. With a second by Keisler, the motion passed unanimously.

Compensation and benefits

The Council unanimously approved changes in compensation and benefits for City employees represented by Operating Engineers Local Union Number Three and certain management employees represented by Johnsen.

Deutsch said, “Former interim city manager negotiated an agreement for various compensation changes. Everyone seems very happy with the agreement.”

Council member Mari C. Shanta moved to approve the agreement, with a second from Keisler, an unanimous approval by roll-call vote.

Flag area at cemetery

During discussion that led to unanimous approval of an expansion of the flag area at the cemetery, Keisler said the plan calls for a large slab of concrete that will house a bench and various plaques that were donated to the City. At the south end of the memorial, there will be a 12 foot sidewalk, where soldiers can stand to fire their weapons in remembrance of veterans. He said the cost of the plot of sidewalk is about $1,000 with the concrete donated by Sousa Ready Mix. Keisler moved to approve the project with a second from Shanta.

Citizens wanted for committees

Councilors unanimously approved the creation of two committees and advertising for community members to serve on them.

The Marijuana Task Force will overlook marijuana ordinances and rules within the City of Dunsmuir. The Mayor moved to direct staff to advertise for three community members to serve on the committee with two Council members.

Craig also moved to advertise for three citizens members to serve on an advisory committee to the City Council with the purpose of making recommendations for beautification of the City. The committee will also include two Council members and two Planning Commission members.

Tabled

An agenda item to consider and award a bid for the removal of hazardous trees within the City of Dunsmuir was tabled. A bid of $20,715 was made by A Cut Above Tree Services Incorporated.

Councilors had many questions that could not be answered at the meeting. Craig moved to place the item on a future agenda and to invite the Public Works Supervisor to attend and help answer questions. It was unanimously approved.

The Council also tabled consideration of a partial report on options for fixing sidewalks within the City and approving allocation for sidewalk improvements in front of City buildings on Dunsmuir Avenue.

The partial report from former interim city manager Randy Johnsen states that the project would cost about $7,000.

Council decided to wait until the new city manager is hired before taking action on the report.