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Contract approval delayed after items pulled from city council agenda

By By Chris Cole
Published On: Sep 05 2013 10:26:48 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 05 2013 11:00:00 PM CDT

Are internal city council politics causing a delay in the approval of contracts for Pocatello firefighters and police officers?

POCATELLO, Idaho -

If you followed the city of Idaho Falls contract negotiations, you know there were debates and issues all over the place.

In Pocatello, however, negotiations have been running smoothly – for the most part.

Curtis Smith, representative for Pocatello firefighters, said the fire department has high job satisfaction overall. In the past 15 years, no employees have quit. The employees who are no longer with the department left because they retired.

"I think the employees as a whole are pretty well represented, and I think they're fairly happy on the whole," Smith said.

Smith said the support from local officials has helped with the job satisfaction as well.

"The city and the county have been extremely helpful,” said Smith. “We passed a levy a couple years ago which hired additional personnel to staff ambulances. So we work really well together."

But will that happiness possibly come to an end? The contracts that were set to be approved by the city council Thursday evening were pulled from the agenda.

Some city council members want to hold an executive session next week about the contracts. Some of the other members said this decision was based on internal politics – the focus being the elections this November.

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