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Christiansen Appointed Chief: In a special session of the Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen held on January 5, 2023, Mr. Jeff Christiansen wasappointed with a unanimous vote to serve as the city’s next Police Chief. Christiansen comes to the city with over 27 years of professional law enforcement experience, most recentlyserving the citizens of Linn Creek, Missouri as their Police Chief. Prior to his work in Linn Creek, Christiansenspent 26 years at the DuPage County, Illinois Sheriff’s Office, progressing through their patrol and detectivedivisions, and eventually serving as a Sergeant within their civil division and accreditation and trainingprograms. His professional service includes volumes of experience in training and development, grants, patrolfunctions, accreditation, and supervision. He possesses a BA and MS in criminal social justice from Lewis University, and is a 2012 graduate of theNorthwestern University School of Police Staff and Command. While working for the DuPage CountySheriff’s Office, Christiansen also worked as an adjunct instructor at Aurora University for a period of 15 years,where he was a founding member of their criminal justice advisory board. He has worked at the College ofDuPage as a GED instructor and coordinator as well. He has also has years of experience as an accreditationmanager, trainer, and contractor for a series of coroners’ offices in Illinois. Outside of his professional experiences, Christiansen is a co-founder of Celebrate Differences, which is a notfor-profit supporting people with disabilities and their families. He has extensive involvement with the specialneeds community for the past 18 years, also co-founding the A Pinch of Happiness Spice Shop in Camdenton,Missouri. During his appointment, Christiansen stated that he was “looking forward to getting started soon and tocontinue the work of making the agency better. I am excited to work with the officers, dispatchers, board anddepartment heads to make progress, and appreciate the thorough and well-vetted hiring process.”At the meeting, Mayor Newberry thanked the members of the hiring committee that helped to identifyChristiansen as the next Police Chief. Christiansen will be sworn into the role at the Board of Aldermenmeeting on January 10, 2023 at 6:00 P.M.

TEST TW WEATHER

Lake Ozark moves toward pay adjustments

The City of Lake Ozark wants to appropriately reward its employees and do its best to retain employees.

The board of aldermen recently approved first reading of an ordinance authorizing pay adjustments for employees in the police, dispatch, and public works departments. Second reading is expected at the regular Sept. 28 meeting.

City Administrator Dave Van Dee said that the recent passage of a Camden County sales tax increase to fund the Camden County Sheriff’s Department was one motivator in Lake Ozark deciding to address the pay issue.

“There appears to be an effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and my goal is to bring our lowest starting wage closer to that level,” he said.

That will help the next city administrator to adjust future pay raises with less budgetary stress, he added.

 

Highlights

Police Department 

•Officers will see a pay adjustment from $15.39 an hour to $16.32/hour. The pay has been adjusted from the new-hire level through the chief to maintain an equitable pay structure.

•All employees are hired with a six-month probationary period during which they receive the base pay of $16.32/hour for officers. At the end of the probationary period, with satisfactory completion, the officer would increase to $16.81.

•On or about an officer’s one-year anniversary, again with satisfactory completion, the officer would increase to $17.32/hour.

•A new officer will start at $33,950.96 and raise to $36,018.58 after one year.

“This would allow the city to be more competitive in the market with incremental improvements in the future,” Van Dee said.

 

Dispatch Department 

•Starting wage of $14.49 an hour, up from the current $12.88 an hour. There would be regular increases based on tenure and time in service.

 

Public Works Departments

•Six employees will be impacted by the change which calls for the starting wage to increase from $12.36 to $13.51 an hour. New hires will move to $14.33 after a six-month probationary period. In the current plan, an employee would take four years before reaching that threshold. The adjustment is limited to mostly recently hired employees since upper-level employees were adjusted upward in January 2021.

“All of these changes have been incorporated into the proposed budget amendment and the financial impact has been discussed with the Budget Committee, and they expressed their support,” Van Dee said.