Independence Today Your bi-weekly update from the City of Independence

On Friday, Sept. 3, Mayor Weir joined representatives from the Mayor's Art Commission, the Oregon California Trail Association, and the Truman Library along with members of the community to dedicate two new murals on E. Maple Ave. The first mural located on the north side of the street celebrates Independence as the Queen City of the Trails with a map depicting the Santa Fe, California, Oregon and Mormon Trails. The second mural on the south side of the street depicts major moments in President Harry S. Truman's life and key landmarks in our community. Both murals are located on East Maple Avenue between Main Street and North Lynn.

Learn more about the artist, Dan Brewer, who brought these pieces to life in the latest Art Beat. You can find all of the Independence Art Beat videos on our YouTube Channel.

Council Overview

Please find below an overview of some of the key items discussed and voted on during the September 7 City Council Meeting. You can watch the meeting in full here.

Working to hire more police officers

The Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the City and the Fraternal Order of Police No. 1 (FOP). City Management and FOP Leadership have been meeting for the past several weeks to develop strategies relative to filling sworn personnel vacancies as well as retention of current sworn personnel. You can read the full agenda item here.

As of August 26, 2021, IPD has 31 vacancies and 21 Police Officers in training. Of the 230 budgeted positions, 178 Police Officers are available for assignment.

The City also plans to implement a hiring incentive program for police officers - $10,000 for experienced officers and $7,000 for new officers. This is outside the MOU agreement and does not require FOP approval but they are supportive of the effort.

The estimated cost of this program is $1,475,000. While the MOU was approved, as outlined in the Fiscal Impact of the agenda item, the funding for the program was part of the Revised APRA Expenditure Plan and was not approved by Council during the Sept. 7 meeting. Therefore, the MOU and Police Hiring Incentive Programs cannot be implemented as of today. However, the Council will discuss this funding and changes to the City’s ARPA spending plan during the September 13 Study Session.

Strategic Plan Action Plan

The Council approved an action plan designed to provide key steps to meet goals identified in the updated Independence for All Strategic Plan. You can find the updated Strategic Plan here.

Please find the latest COVID-19 Report here.

The Council will next meet on September 13 for a Study Session.

Eligible individuals can now receive third dose

The CDC announced in August that a group of immunocompromised individuals is now eligible to receive a third dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines (based on the first two doses they received). You can find more information on eligibility here.

Since March 2020, more than 210 Independence residents have died of COVID-19. While Independence has seen a decrease in percent positivity over the last month (now at 13.61%, down from 18.9% on Aug. 11), officials are carefully monitoring cases in the next two weeks following the Labor Day holiday and return to school. Everyone is strongly encouraged to wear a mask when in indoor settings or in large outdoor gatherings where social distancing is not easily maintained. Vaccines are encouraged for all individuals 12 or older. The Independence Health Department continues to add new vaccine clinic options. Please learn more about the vaccine options in our area at indep.us/vaccines.

Manager's Job Shadow - Right of Way and Illegal Dumping Cleanup

Learn more about the work of Municipal Services Department staff as they work to maintain our public right of ways (ROWs) and clean-up after illegal dumping across the city.

Independence News Room

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City of Independence