New G.I. Public Works Director Narrowly Approved

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The Grand Island City Council narrowly approved the rehiring of John Collins as Public Works director.

Mayor Jay Vavricek recommended Collins, the man who resigned from the position just over six months ago.

Vavricek said Collins will be paid about $11,000 more per year than he was when he left.

The mayor said he thinks it's a worthy investment for a position that is tied to the mayor's term of service.

"I don't think it makes much sense to go ahead and pay someone less than what we could be paying the interim director to do," said Vavricek.

The council was divided over rehiring Collins. All said they received numerous calls and emails from citizens advising against the re-hire because of that salary difference.

"To leave on step 8 and come back on step 12 without doing anything, I think is an exception to the personnel rules that I wouldn't support," said Councilman Chuck Haase.

The re-hire was approved with a six to four vote.