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City Council To Fill Vacancy By Appointment

By Staff | Oct 14, 2010

Emmetsburg City Council has decided to fill the vacated council position by appointment. That decision was made at the Monday City Council meeting by unanimous vote.

“I am in favor of appointment so we can have a person serving quicker,” said Councilman Brian Campbell. “And that would save the city a couple thousand dollars for this one year appointment.”

Campbell added, “This might give a person the opportunity to try it out for a year.”

“I respect what Brian said and I could go either way (appointment versus special election),” said Council representative Sandy Pelzer. “But I think we’re only looking at a months difference.”

City Administrator John Bird noted that to have a special election, the County Auditor must be given advance notice. The election would have to be scheduled between Dec. 4 and Jan. 2 to meet the time guidelines spelled out by the Code of Iowa.

“If Ward 2 residents think we didn’t fill it with the right person, they could still call for a special election,” said Campbell. “We could take advantage of both options.”

Councilman Steve Finer also favored appointment, noting that the term is only for one year.

Mayor John Schad pointed out that it would only require 29 signatures to force an election.

“”I think it would be a waste of money for someone to serve for a year,” said Councilman Corey Gramowski.

Cost of a special election would be approximately $1,500.

Council members voted unanimously to fill the vacated council seat by appointment. Bird noted that when notice is made to the public, interested residents of Ward 2 can submit a written statement of interest to the City Clerk. The deadline is Oct. 22. Candidates will be interviewed by the full council.

Council members approved a Resolution of Appreciation to Pat Degen for his dedicated service as a council representative.

Additional Proceedings

Mayor Schad reported to the council on the Community Garden. He noted that produce has been given to Upper Des Moines Opportunity.

“We are meeting our goal of getting food to people who need it,” said Mayor Schad. People can now sign up for garden plots for 2011.

City Council members approved Ordinance 543, amending the chapter on public lake access regulations. The change provides for an appeal process on dock applications. Initial approval or denial for a dock is made by the city administration and an appeal would come before Emmetsburg City Council.

Second consideration of the ordinance change will be heard at the next meeting of Emmetsburg City Council.

There were four bids for two parcels of land available for cash rent, one on city owned property and the other on Emmetsburg Municipal Utilities property. The bid was awarded to Kyle Elbert, high bidder at $154 per acre for both parcels totaling 66 acres.

Emmetsburg City Council approved no parking on both sides of First Street, from Lawler west to King Street. Appropriate signs will be posted.