Unlike the usually staid council meetings, the atmosphere in Lewisburg’s Cooley Council Chambers was thick with anticipation last Tuesday night.
The energy was contagious as at least a dozen Teubert family members sat in attendance, chatting idly and city officials, grouped at the back of the room, were gregariously greeting each other and shaking hands. A small child was briefly seen running about.
Shortly after the start of the meeting came the announcement by council member Joseph Lutz that Deputy Chief Chris Teubert was to be Lewisburg’s next chief of police. With his appointment approved, Teubert was sworn into office by Mayor John Manchester.
“I do not take the responsibility you’ve given me and the faith you’ve shown in me lightly,” Teubert said in thanking the city council and mayor. “I’d like to thank Chief Stover for the foundation and my family for putting up with me all these years.”
With three candidates under consideration for the chief position, Lutz, who oversaw the interview process, named Lt. Jeremy Dove and Sgt. Jeffrey Vance as the two other department members who had submitted their names for consideration. “These men are all first responders,” Lutz said, in describing their character and dedication to the department. “It’s in their blood.” He went on to say that each man knows the other two and the skills they each bring to the department, having worked together as a team. It is a tribute to Chief Tim Stover, now retired, Lutz said, for the foundation he built over more than 20 years in creating a sharp, considerate and compassionate police department culture.
“The police department is family,” said Manchester.
Later in the meeting, during the finance committee report, in considering a set salary for the new chief, Council member Mark Etten said that as police chief, Teubert would not be eligible for over-time pay. The mayor, taking up the topic, said the City is in the process of a pay scale evaluation for all city employees. The salary ranges have been assessed as below market value, he said.
“It is a credit to Chief Stover that he always made sure his crew was taken care of,” Manchester said. “This is an issue we need to address.”
In the interim, council approved a salary of $60,000 a year for Teubert, with the consideration that within three months time the council will revisit and re-evaluate the pay scale question.
In other business:
- Public Works Director Roger Pence said the recent vehicle auction, which attracted 115 bidders for various vehicles, trailers and snow plow equipment no longer used by the department, was a success, yielding a total of $48,000.
- Fire Chief Joey Thomas reported there were 90 emergency calls in December 2018, sixty within the city limits and 28 calls in the first due area.