Council reverses itself on appointment

Staff writer

Marion City Council voted 3-2 to appoint Diana Holub to the Planning Commission Monday. Council members Todd Heitschmidt and Chris Meierhoff voted against Holub.

The council originally denied the appointment by Mayor Mary Olson on Nov. 26. Council members gave the reasoning that Holub would be serving on both the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals. However, Holub’s seat on the Board of Zoning Appeals expired at the end of 2012.

If the council would have voted against Holub a second time, a resolution needed to be signed stating that Holub “is unqualified and/or not fit to hold the office of board member for the Marion Planning Commission.”

Marion City Administrator Doug Kjellin said the wording of the resolution was not accurate to the reasoning against Holub’s appointment. He clarified that the problem was the conflict of interest posed with Holub serving on two boards. Both the Planning Commission and BZA were involved with the jail tower situation this summer.

On Dec. 30, Marion City Council reappointed Margo Yates to both the Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals.

“One is probably OK,” council member Jerry Dieter said of Yates appointment to both boards.

Olson said she wanted Holub to serve on both boards because of her understanding of zoning regulations, after regular Planning Commission Meetings the last Tuesday of every month, would help with Board of Zoning Appeals cases. The board only meets when there is an appeal or a variance.

“It’s more judge and jury,” Kjellin described the board’s function.

The planning commission, with members Chad Gormley, Paul White, Ruth Herbel, and Roger Schroeder in attendance, recommended Holub for appointment to Dusty Hett’s former seat on Nov. 27.

“She’s very professional, well spoken, and she will do her research,” Herbel said. “What more do you want?”

Olson also pointed out Kansas State statute 12-759, which says that people can serve on both the city’s planning commission and board of zoning appeals.

When it came time to vote for Holub’s reappointment to the board of zoning appeals, Dieter, Heitschmidt, and Meierhoff voted against Holub.

“We don’t allow jurors to be on trials they’re involved with,” Heitschmidt said.

Yates was unanimously appointed to both boards on Dec. 30.

Olson said it was more important for Holub to serve on the Planning Commission because that board meets regularly. Still, there is the prospect of filling a vacant seat on the board of zoning appeals.

“We don’t have lines waiting to get on the board,” council member Jerry Kline said.

 

Quantcast