Starling retiring from city clerk position

Published 8:14 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2019

City Clerk Alton Starling has decided to retire from the City of Troy effective April 30, saving the city more than $100,000 between then and November 3, 2020.

The Troy City Council unanimously appointed assistant clerk Shannon Bryan to take over the office on May 1 to fulfill the remainder of Starling’s term.

“We’re very excited to begin working with you,” Mayor Jason Reeves told Bryan, who was filling in as clerk in Starling’s absence. “We will make this transition as seamless as possible.”

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Starling was the first to accept and come to terms on the city’s early retirement incentive package, which is being offered to six eligible unclassified employees who have worked for at least 25 years with the City.

Starling was not present at the meeting and efforts to reach him by phone before publishing time were unsuccessful.

Reeves said multiple other employees are still exploring the early retirement option, notifying Reeves of their interest ahead of the March 29 deadline to do so.

“We must agree upon a final agreement, and that has not occurred yet,” Reeves said. “Because this is a personnel issue, I cannot comment further; but once any deals are negotiated, that information will be released.”

The council also unanimously approved an ordinance to give the city some control over the location of “small cell” facilities in Troy. The FCC issued an order earlier this year that limited municipal authority over the placement of these new devices, which will provide 5G wireless network connection through cellular providers.

Planning administrator Melissa Sanders said the technology is promising, but with no ordinance, the city would have little to no say over where and how the devices are installed.

“It’s still unknown exactly how many would be needed to provide service, but the estimate right now is about 60 per square mile,” Sanders told the council. “So since Troy is approximately 27 square miles and we have two cellular carriers here, that would be up to 3,200 small cells in Troy.”

The ordinance passed by the council sets fees for the placement of the cells and provides “reasonable prohibitions and design standards” that would have the devices preferably placed on existing utility poles or hidden on buildings.

In other business, the council approved the leasing of computer equipment for Troy Utilities to provide a full backup of all data at a secure offsite location. Utilities Manager Brian Chandler said some critical data was already being backed up offsite, but this equipment will provide for a secure backup of all data. The annual lease is $127,000 and will be paid for five years.

The council will meet again on Tuesday, April 23 at City Hall. the executive committee will meet upstairs at 4 p.m. and the council will convene in the Council Chambers at 5 p.m.