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Hometown goes after commissioner

Staff writer

Peabody is poised to take action against the chairman of the county commission to make him remove posts he prematurely installed to support a porch he never built.

The posts have been up for two years. Commission chairman Randy Dallke, who frequently complains when county property owners act before they ask permission, reportedly installed the posts before he approached the city planning and zoning department seeking a variance to put a porch at that location.

But Dallke contends he did have permission and that the council concern is the result of a personal grudge one member has with him.

“Mr. Dallke agreed to remove the posts, that he would take them down,” Jim Rippe, chairman of planning and zoning commission, said. “And he hasn’t.”

Council member Rick Reynolds said Dallke “planted the posts, then came to planning and zoning and asked permission to build the porch.”

But council member Janice Woodruff noted that another property on 7th St. has “a very similar situation.”

“If you’re going to do to one, you have to do to the other,” Woodruff said.

City clerk Barbara Seeney said Dallke told council members March 27 that he would remove the posts.

Mayor Larry Larsen asked council members whether police chief Bruce Burke should speak to the property owners or a lawyer should talk to them.

Council members decided to get an opinion from city attorney Robert Lane first, then discuss the matter again at their next meeting.

Dallke tells a different version of the events.

“First of all, I went in for a building permit and I went in to the zoning board and the zoning board passed it,” Dallke said Tuesday. “It never did make it to the council at that time. Two months later they took it away. They did give me permission to build a sled porch.”

A sled porch is one that does not connect to the house, Dallke said.

Dallke said he was merely trying to update the property.

“Then they asked will I remove the posts, and I said yes, when I bring in my sled porch,” Dallke said.

He has not finished building the porch, he said.

Dallke also mentioned the 7th St. property Woodruff talked about at the meeting. Fence posts at that address on 7th and Maple block the view of the stop sign, Dallke said.

“This is worse than terrible,” Dallke said.

Dallke said Burke had talked to him about his porch posts.

“I told the police chief that when they treat everybody equal in this town, then I’ll remove those fence posts like I should,” Dallke said.

Dallke said the issue was the result of a council member with a grudge against him.

“This is just because one of the council members was also on planning and zoning board,” he said. “It’s actually a personal grudge.”

Last modified June 28, 2017

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