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Council questioner ejected

I’ll see you with a lawyer,’ Jex Addition resident tells mayor

Staff writer

A discussion of a proposed truck parking ordinance Tuesday at Marion City Council sparked pointed questions and comments by a community resident that resulted in her removal from the meeting.

Council members were wrapping up their discussion of the ordinance, which would limit commercial tractor and trailer parking in residential areas to no more than 45 minutes, when Mayor Mary Olson asked if there were any other questions.

Jex Addition resident Leah Schmidt, who at previous meetings has raised concerns about the commercial truck parking operation of Darryl and Linda Brewer at 316 Grant St., took the opportunity to ask her own question.

“So that means that Jex Addition’s residential rights continue to be exempt, is that correct?” Schmidt asked.

“It means that Darryl Brewer’s conditional use permit for that area at the south end of Jex Addition continues,” Marion City Attorney Keith Collett said.

“We don’t get minutes and we don’t get hours, we get days of refrigeration trucks, and you’re aware of that. I just wondered why that is a non-enforcement there,” Schmidt asked.

Collett explained the conditional use permit was issued to allow the truck parking operation.

“And that noise violation is allowed because of it,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt then interjected concerns about truck traffic in Jex Addition and the safety of the neighborhood’s children.

“Just at the corner of Arbor and Grant alone, in two residential areas alone, we have eight more children under the age of 10. We have kids everywhere on bicycles,” Schmidt said.

“OK, I’m going to stop you right there,” Olson said. “If you want to take public forum time, I’ll give it to you, your three minutes, but not now.”

Schmidt and Olson exchanged remarks that grew increasingly argumentative, with Olson asking Schmidt to take a seat, and Schmidt questioning why she hadn’t received answers to her correspondence.

At that point Olson turned to Chief of Police Tyler Mermis.

“Would you take her out,” Olson requested.

“Can you answer why you do not respond to my correspondence in writing even?” Schmidt asked as Mermis moved to escort her out.

“You can come back when…” Olson began, but she was cut off by Schmidt.

“I’ll see you with a lawyer,” Schmidt said as she exited the council room.

No truckers or other community members were present to comment on the proposed ordinance. The council agreed to provide another opportunity for public comment at the next meeting before taking action.

Bucket truck purchase

City Administrator Doug Kjellin informed the council he had located a used bucket truck in Waxahachie, Texas, that met the requirements discussed in prior council meetings. Kjellin requested permission to execute a conditional purchase of the truck pending the results of specialized safety test.

“The company does not do a load test,” Kjellin explained. “I have made an arrangement to conditionally accept the truck and then authorize payment after a successful load test here in Marion,” Kjellin said.

The purchase price of $42,755 is more than $10,000 less than what was budgeted, Kjellin noted. After discussion of how the truck would be utilized, the council authorized Kjellin to go ahead with the purchase.

In other business:

  • Kjellin updated the council on research he conducted into the feasibility and cost of a surveillance system for Brooker Central Park. Kjellin received authorization to develop specifications for possible systems and determine potential bidders. The council also discussed proposed repairs to the springs in the park.
  • The council accepted the resignation of Collett as city attorney, effective Thursday.
  • Payments in the amount of $41,373 and payroll in the amount of $28,701 were approved.

The next meeting of the council is scheduled for June 11.

Last modified May 30, 2012

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