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frankwaites19April 9--  Frank Waits, Vidalia's police chief for the past 14 years, has been placed on leave.  City Manager Nick Overstreet issued a statement late Tuesday afternoon with no further explanation.  The city council held an executive session on personnel at its monthly meeting Monday night but would not confirm that Chief Wait's future was discussed.

He was visited by Mayor Ronnie Dixon Tuesday morning and met with the city manager and city attorney Tuesday afternoon before the statement was issued.

Meanwhile, the city is doing a salary review to make sure city employees are being paid adequately.

The city council approved a $10,750 contract with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia to do the review, according to City Manager Nick Overstreet, "The Mayor and Council thought it was time to review the pay scale structure we have.  It's been in place since 2008 or 2009 and we thought it was important to make sure our employees are being paid appropriately according to the jobs they hold."

Overstreet expects the review will start in September and says it will also address employee job descriptions, "They will be here in the city conducting employee surveys to form new job descriptions for every single position and accomplish a number of other things to help us move forward."

In other actions at the meeting, the council:

* Turned down a request from Mark Alexander to change the zoning of land adjacent to an apartment complex on McDonald Drive from single family to multi-family residential.

* Agreed to seek a contract to remove trees on the eastern side of the Vidalia Regional Airport to comply with FAA safety regulations.

*Approved bids of $23,650 from Woody Folsom for a Dodge Charger for the Vidalia Police Department and another of $30,200 from Paul Thigpen for a Ford Explorer for the Vidalia Fire Department.  It also okayed more than $20,000 to buy other equipment for the fire department including a water testing kit, protective fire suits and an air pack.

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