Call it the big boot battle.
During their Oct. 22 meeting, members of the Montesano City Council’s Finance Committee rejected compensating a Public Works employee with the cost for a pair of boots, valued at a couple hundred dollars. They took the matter up again during their Nov. 12 meeting and again, affirmed that decision.
“We’re rejecting a bill for boots purchased by an employee and we’re going to stand by that and the bill will not be paid for by the city,” Councilman Pat Herrington said.
The city’s contract with Teamsters 252 states that “employees shall be provided with one pair of leather boots as needed.”
Herrington’s point is that the boots are not leather.
Councilman-Elect Tyler Trimble, who takes office in January, challenged Herrington on the purchase noting that the council has approved similar purchases before, including leather boots that are up to $400 and the exact same kind of nylon mesh boots that were being rejected now.
“If that’s the way this council acts, then we are subjecting ourselves to a grievance by approving this,” Trimble said.
“It’s not about going cheaper,” Herrington replied. “t’s about what the contract says. The contract says leather boots. If in an event whatever an individual is welding and it goes through nylon mesh on the side of a boot, the potential for an L&I claim is there.”
“Understandbale,” Trimble replied. “Then when he brings forward a $400 pair of leather boots that should be approved.”
“That’s something we’ll address later if that happens,” Herrington said.