Muni court workers to return to Ironton

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 30, 2004

Who was it that said "you can never go home again?"

It certainly was not Ironton Municipal Judge O. Clark Collins Jr. when it comes to the Ironton Municipal Court's community service workers.

Collins and Mayor John Elam were both happy to announce Friday that the workers will resume working in the city on Monday.

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Since July, the workers have not been cutting grass or weeds or cleaning up trash within the city limits because the American Federation of State, Local, County and Municipal Employees Local 771 filed a grievance

alleging that it is a violation of its collective bargaining agreement

while union employees are laid off.

Now all those employees have returned to work for the city to fill other vacant positions, as Elam maintains that the city's workforce remains reduced.

"We're glad to be back. I think a lot of areas of the city have been neglected," Collins said of the program that has ran for more than 20 years. "We are glad the city workers are back but it was really a non-issue with us because we never did anything to affect those jobs."

Workers will focus initially on city entrances, overpasses, streets and other areas of need.

Elam agreed that it will be a benefit for the city to put this issue behind it.

"We are happy to have them back and be able to use the community service workers to help maintain the city," he said. "It complements our city's workforce in being able to accomplish more."

As far as Collins is concerned, the sky is the limit for the program that he plans to expand.

Once spring hits, Collins said he plans to have the workers resume the alley cleanup, work with other local groups for more involvement and hopes to add another crew that can focus on assisting the elderly with property maintenance.

"We have so many seniors around here and a lot of them need help," he said. "We will have a lot of good things going into next year."