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Motion for BOA resignations fails

Monday, November 19, 2007

A motion at the Cherokee City Council meeting calling for resignations from the five members of the Cherokee Board of Adjustment failed for lack of a second Tuesday evening.

Mick Mallory, the council member who made the motion, said that the board of adjustment did not follow guidelines from the Iowa League of Municipalities and did not respect the city code in a recent granting of a variance request for planned construction on a residential property in Cherokee.

Mallory has repeatedly criticized actions of the board of adjustment at city council meetings since Sept. 25 and at board of adjustment meetings.

Following the motion dying for the lack of a second, Dwight Varce, council member, asked Mallory whether he had conferred with the city attorney regarding the legality of the motion.

Mallory replied that he knew the motion would not be binding upon board of adjustment members, it was just meant as a suggestion and to express his feelings on the matter.

Bob Leach, council member, asked whether Mallory had gone to the residence of the chairman of the board of adjustment to ask for his resignation. Mallory said he had not asked for a resignation at that time. He had just informed the chairman that the matter would be on the agenda so that the chairman could respond to the matter at the council meeting.

Leach asked Mallory to clarify that his actions were not discussed and approved by other council members.

"I don't talk to any of you people," Mallory said,

"You should. We're right here," Leach said.

In a related matter, an agenda item to consider term limits for board and commission members was discussed briefly but generated no motion.

Mick Mallory said he had requested that the item be put on the agenda.

"I don't see people knocking down the doors to get those positions," Greg Stieneke, council member, said.

"It was just a suggestion," Mallory said and the matter was dropped.

Earlier in the meeting, the council had approved the reappointment of Kurt Clabaugh to the board of adjustment by a vote of 4 to 1, with Mick Mallory the only dissenting vote. Clabaugh was one of two people to indicate an interest in serving on the board of adjustment. One council member indicated that he was not familiar with the name of the second person. The second person was not present at the meeting.

Mayor Dennis Henrich said that no one has indicated an interest in filling a seat on the planning and zoning commission that has been vacant for some time. He added that there will be three more terms on the planning and zoning commission expire at the end of the year and he doesn't know whether those holding the positions want to continue.

The board approved advertising the sale of a lot at 312 West Locust again. Nobody had bid the first time the property was put up for sale with a minimum bid of $200, but Deb Taylor, city clerk, said there have been a couple of people express an interest since then. The new minimum bid was set at $100.

There was a request for waiving the water charges at the cart track at the fairgrounds. The request was denied by a 3 to 2 vote.

It was noted that the council recently had started a policy of not waiving any water fees. Henrich responded that the Cherokee County Fair was an exception and fees had continued to be waived for the fair.

When asked whether the revenue from the track all goes to the county fair, Henrich responded that he did not know. Mallory said it would make a difference in his vote whether or not revenue from the track all went to the county fair or another organization received part of it.

James Peck, Leach and Mallory all voted for a motion to deny the request. Varce and Stieneke voted against the motion to deny the request.

There was little discussion on a proposal by a citizen to remove the east/west stop signs at the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and East Main Street, an intersection that now has four-way stop signs.

The only comment was by Stieneke who said he saw no reason to change the intersection and made a motion to keep it like it is. The motion passed 5 to 0.

The council voted 4 to 1 to set a public hearing for Nov. 27, regarding the sale of lots on 110-112 South Fourth Street (two lots to be sold as one).

Dwight Varce, who had opposed a motion at an earlier meeting to put the property up for sale, was the dissenting vote on the motion.

The council normally meets the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month but decided to meet the third Tuesday in December, Dec. 18, rather than the fourth Tuesday, Dec. 25. This might be the only meeting for December. It will be decided at a later time whether the need to approve bills will make it impossible to meet only once in December.

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