(Part of) Dillon City Council meets

 

Wednesday night’s Dillon City Council meeting was a who’s who of who’s there and who wasn't, along with an effort by those who are there to attend to some important city business.

Mayor Mike Klakken had asked the Council to move the first of its two regular Council meetings this month due his plan to be out of town tonight at the Municipal Elected Officials Workshop in Billings, along with Councilpersons Bill Shafer and Dan Nye, and City Attorney James Dolan.

But after turning down Klakken’s request, the Council reportedly became concerned that with Shafer and Nye and a third councilperson potentially absent due to a scheduling conflict, along with Council President David Spehar moving over to sit in for Klakken, the meeting might not gain a quorum.

As it turned out, Klakken’s presence ensured that quorum—and seemed to reassure some members of the public who have voiced concerns about what the Council might try to do in the absence of the mayor, in light of the City Council voting to stick Klakken with a $2,766 legal bill in a similar situation earlier this year.

City Judge Shea Erwin’s attendance, or lack thereof, at recent Council meetings was also addressed, even though Erwin was not in attendance again.

Erwin was appointed to replace John Gutcheck as city judge after Gutcheck’s passing in late 2013, but has chosen not to attend a number of Council meetings this year.

At the last City Council meeting, Councilpersons Lynn Westad and Swede Troedsson announced their concerns about Erwin’s attendance record, along with her use of the City Council Chambers for City Court proceedings. Erwin addressed those concerns in an April 23 letter to the Council and Mayor Klakken included in the packet for tonight’s meeting (see story at top of this page).

During its Finance Committee report, the Council will consider a recommendation on a resolution to amend the budget for Fiscal Year 2013–14 “to create several funds to account for additional money for the SID 37 bond, to assign expenditures for the Tree Board projects and to adjust, in general, expenditures and revenues which were underestimated...” The amendment was presented and unanimously endorsed at a May 2 meeting of the City Council’s Finance Committee. A public hearing on the FY 2013–14 budget amendment is scheduled for May 21 at 6:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

During the Street and Alley Committee report, the Council will discuss approval of the complete Bannack Street Crossing CTEP (Community Transportation Enhancement Program) Project. Originally approved by the Street and Alley Committee and City Council five years ago, the Bannack Street Crossing CTEP Project was for some reason never started under the administration of Dillon’s previous mayor, Marty Malesich. Designed in part to help protect elderly residents of the Bicentennial Apartments walking to and from downtown Dillon, the project was rejected by the Street and Alley Committee at its March meeting, even though the project had already been approved by the Council and would cost the city no money to complete, due to funding from CTEP and a pledged contribution by the Bicentennial Apartments. After gaining more information and public input, the Street and Alley Committee unanimously approved the project at its April 14 meeting.

 

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