Monday's meeting of the Rhinelander City Council was quick and to the point, lasting just under 30 minutes and most items passing with little or no discussion.
The amendments to the city codes covering the police and fire and plan commission and the board of review requiring all members be city residents was approved at the very start of the meeting as part of the consent agenda by a 6-0 vote with aldermen Steve Sauer and George Kirby absent.
The amendments had previously passed the finance, wage and salary committee on March 7. The changes were made when Pete Tenderholt moved outside of the city limits but not resigning as a member of the police and fire commission.
Toward the end of the meeting, the council was asked to approve an appointment of Brandon Karaba by mayor Richard Johns to fill Tenderholt's spot on the police and fire commission.
Alderperson Dawn Rog asked that the vote on the appointment be delayed a month.
"We have two council people who at this time are unable to make it. One of those council members served on the police and fire commission for 19 years," Rog said. "This appointment is necessary because we had a situation with a person who is on the commission, who six months ago, chose to move outside of the city and not inform the city clerk that he had left the city of Rhinelander."
She said the change in the ordinance approved earlier in the meeting was a direct result of this situation.
"This person (Tenderholt) just resigned as of a week ago, and this appointment came up rather quickly," Rog said. "There is a lot going on right now with the police and fire commission, and I would ask that we delay this 30 days before we approve the appointment."
Johns said he announced at the February city council meeting that he was seeking residents interested in being appointed.
"I was told that person had resigned, and he hadn't. But he did resign after I talked to him, and I had five applications," Johns said of Karaba's appointment.
He said the people he spoke to about Karaba "spoke highly of him," and he stood by the appointment.
Nobody else spoke for or against the appointment, and Johns called the question. The motion to approve Karaba's appointment passed by a 5-1 vote with Rog casting the lone nay vote.
By a 6-0 vote, the council approved John's appointment of Amber O'Casey to the Rhinelander Joint Library Board.
In matters concerning the Parks Public Engagement Task Force, the council unanimously approved it spending no more than $1,000 for material to be used at the Hodag Home Show on Saturday. Parks committee chair Sherrie Belliveau made the motion to appoint alderman Sauer to the task force as the council's representative to replace Alex Young, who had resigned.
"This might surprise a few people, but Wednesday of last week, I meet with Steve Sauer, who has attended some of the Parks Engagement Task Force meetings, he seems to have a genuine interest in this process," she said.
She said that since nobody on the parks committee wanted to replace Young on the task force, and that Sauer's interest seemed to be sincere, she moved that the council appoint him to the task force. She added that it would be a chance for Sauer to learn what goes on in the city parks better. Alderman Mark Pelletier seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
In other action, the council:
Approved an ordinance change clarifying the job description of the city administrator.
Approved allowing the city clerk to enter into a collection agreement with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
Approved five-year contracts with Rhinelander Babe Ruth, Little League and the Rhinelander Hodag Diamond Club/American Legion for the use of the ball fields at Hodag Park.
Approved the event permit for the Walk MS on Sept. 16.
Approved a raze order for 1440 Upland Avenue.
Disapproved a pothole claim.
Disapproved a salt spreader claim.
Approved payment of the fee for a dumpster at the State Theater by a 5-1 vote with Pelletier casting the nay vote.
Jamie Taylor may be reached at email@example.com.
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