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story.lead_photo.caption David A. Wilson/For the News TribuneCalifornia City Clerk Aimee Hill, left, administers the oath of office to new Ward 1 Councilman Aaron Grimes on Monday, May 7, 2018. Grimes was selected to fill the position following the election in which no one filed for the seat.

CALIFORNIA, Mo. -- Aaron Grimes, the newest member of the California Board of Aldermen, was sworn in Monday at the board's regular monthly meeting.

When a council seat is vacant — in this case because no one filed and the write-in winner declined to serve — the mayor makes a recommendation. The choice is confirmed when a majority of the board votes to approve the selection.

Mayor Norris Gerhart also announced Dale Embry has been appointed as interim police chief following the resignation of Chief Mike Ward.

Embry will serve until a new police chief is selected. The council decided to advertise the position for 30 days to determine what candidates will be interviewed.

Ward submitted his resignation May 2, to be effective May 3, with no reason given, Gerhart said.

The board heard ideas Monday for increasing revenue from the electric and water department supervisors. They were directed to obtain backup data of surrounding communities and determine if there is a service which could provide reliable rate studies. The information is to be submitted at future council meetings to allow the board to determine possible changes to increase city revenues.

The board approved two bids — one for just more than $8,000 for needed repairs on a pump at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and a $6,000 bid for the Independence Day fireworks display.

The board also discussed the fence on the north boundary of Proctor Park. There are no city funds available to do repair or replacement work on the fence, although funds could become available in future years. The board decided that if a homeowner wants to replace the fence, they must bring plans to the board to be approved.

Street Supervisor Vic Maurer provided information about costs of a new single-axle dump truck. The council approved ordering the truck, which on the Missouri Department of Transportation bid will be $127,627. It will be delivered in the fall.

In other business:

The mayor appointed the city attorney and department supervisors, except for the police department, which will await the hiring of a chief.

The board elected Resa Dudley as president.

The board approved street closings for three upcoming events: the Annunciation Catholic Church Picnic on June 3, the Independence Day Parade on July 4 and the Moniteau County Fair Parade on Aug. 4.

Matthew Brauner was hired for the wastewater treatment plant to assist Patrick Murphy.

The Water Department has hired Chris Jacoby, Byron Moseley and Kyle Fletcher.

Ronessa Gunnerson is the new utilities clerk.

The next board meeting is set for 7 p.m. June 4 at city hall.

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