Sunday, December 10, 2017

Baldwin Council Tables Mayoral Appointments

Kevin Surbaugh 


The regular December 5 (2107) meeting of the Baldwin City Council was called to order by Marilyn Pearse. After removing the previous meetings minutes from the consent agenda, because they failed to be included in the council packet, so the members of the council could not review them, the council, approved the consent agenda, which included tobacco license renewals for Baldwin City Market, Kwik Shop, and Payless Tobacco. The missing minutes will be added to the consent agenda of the next council meeting.

Baldwin City resident and former council-member, Ken Hayes, made a special presentation to the council requesting a 75% reduction in fees/building permits.  Currently, Baldwin City permits and fees are $4,185.  When it comes to connecting utilities the city does not charge for the labor, the city does incur labor costs. However, outside of labor would total at less than $2,000.

According to Hayes,
"We are currently down to eighteen lots to build on. At current rates the city has twenty months until these lots are exhausted."
Another presentation came from the Jeanette Blackmar, Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce Director,  in regards to the success of the recent Festival of Lights. Blackmar reported to the Council that after five months of planning, they had three community partners, eleven participating organizations, fourteen floats. Steve Friend,  Baldwin City Recreation Commission, who will be retiring in June, was honored as the Grand Marshal of the parade. Blackmar continued, by telling the council that there was about 800 people that attended this years parade and 500 riders on Midland Railway's  Santa Clause Express. The event raised about $450 for the Baldwin City Recreation Commission and Community Emergency Fund.

The council then moved into old business, and began discussing Charter Ordinance 27, regarding mayoral appointments of a city treasurer, city attorney, municiple judge and such others other officers as may be deemed necessary for best interest of the city.
A discussion ensued about other positions that could be appointed per the state statute.  The city has exempted itself, Council-Member A. J. Stevens, said, from several of those positions.  He continued by saying,  that it appears that full-time positions are exempted while part-time positions are not. Mayor Pearse explained, that those positions are hired, like the city administrator and police chief were hired positions and not appointed.
Stevens made a motion to table any decision until the next meeting. With Council-Member David Simmons seconding the council approved on a vote of 3-2 to table further discussions. With Council-Members Kathy Gerstner and Tony Brown casting the dissenting votes. A related item the council also tabled any decision on ordinance 1380 to change the dates of approving such appointments, by new incoming mayors to the second meeting of January. The vote fell on the same 3-2 split.
In other business the council:
  • Unanimously approved the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
  • Unanimously approved an agreement with Douglas County for housing Baldwin City inmates.
  • Unanimously approved a contract with Eaton Corporation to update the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system at the power plant for $66,005.
  • Learned that City Attorney Matt Hoy will resign and his last meeting will be the final meeting of 2017. 

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