Council agrees to try and improve Baker employee attitudes

BAKER — The City Council wants to improve its customer service image, especially for its bill-paying customers.

Council members Robert Young, John Givens and Charles Vincent said during Tuesday night’s meeting that some of their constituents had been poorly treated at times by city personnel who exhibited bad attitudes.

Councilwoman Joyce Burges and Vincent both said that kindness and a forthright attitude should be expected of city employees.

Although the “customer may be wrong, the customer is always right,” Councilman Norman E. “Pete” Heine said.

Mayor Harold M. Rideau reminded the council that “everybody’s got an excuse, a problem” on a utility bill.

After a lengthy discussion with residents, the council and mayor agreed to schedule a workshop for city employees and council members to improve customer service.

Other matters coming before the council included:

BUFFALO FESTIVAL: Festival Chairwoman Ginger Vann told the council the pageant is affiliated with the Miss America contest and specific rules are applicable. She reported that a nominal fee is required and an application needs to be submitted.

Young and Burges inquired as to why a Miss Baker is usually not a resident of Baker.

Vann said that because of the Miss America affiliation, the contest was open to all, even participants who live outside the area.

However, Vann said that all Baker young ladies, in the various age categories, are encouraged to enter, simply by filling out the application and paying the fee.

Vann said the Buffalo Festival is always held the last Thursday, Friday and Saturday in September. This year’s dates are September 26, 27 and 28.

AUDITOR INTERVIEWS: The council voted to interviews with auditors seeking to handle the council’s 2013-2014 fiscal audit.

Burges said that she wanted to hold interviews for the city’s auditor, rather than simply renew a contract.

Heine said the city does did not have to go out for bids for an auditor.

Rideau said that Mary Sue Stages and her family had handled the city’s audit for years. Burges said she welcomed Stages to the interview.

PASTORS, COUNCIL MEET: Heine said that pastors and council members will meet for a breakfast Saturday to discuss “common concerns and share ideas.”

Heine said one issue at the meeting might involve getting the city’s youth baseball leagues reorganized.