City to start random drug testing

After a wait of more than five years, the city of Sunnyside is going to proceed with random drug testing for its employees.

That's according to discussions held during a budget workshop last night, Thursday, which reviewed the finance department's budget proposal for 2013.

The budget contains for the first time a $500 line item for random drug screening.

Though council approved random drug testing in July 2005, Interim City Manager Frank Sweet said it had never been implemented.

The drug testing policy, as approved in 2005, calls for city employees - including council members and those serving on city boards and commissions - to be subject to the random screenings.

At the time the policy was adopted union employees had not yet signed on to the testing, but Sweet last night said they are now on board with the policy.

Elsewhere in the finance budget, overall spending for 2013 is pegged for some small savings, with a budget of $571,000 compared to $592,000 in 2012.

The savings come primarily from a decrease of $23,000 in the amount budgeted for professional services.

There may be more savings, as well, as Sweet told council last night the city may change banks.

Currently, Sweet says Sunnyside pays annual fees to the tune of $17,500 "for the privilege of taking our money to the bank."

Sweet added, "That seems like an excessive amount. Other banks would like to have our business.


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