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(S.D.)-Edgemont Council Takes No Action On Petitions To Recall Mayor

By: Chris Fankhauser Posted at: 01/29/2014 09:13 AM

(Edgemont)- The City Council meeting on January 21st had a large crowd of public in attendance. The City had received petitions to recall Mayor Carl Shaw the week before and the agenda included an item to “reject or accept recall petitions.”

Attorney Jim Sword spoke first on the issue and explained that it was his opinion that the petitions should be rejected. Although he said there were 90 valid signatures, he stated that the petitions themselves were not properly verified (some pages did not have the name of the city on them) and that the reasons for recall listed on the petitions were not specific enough for signers to know what they were recalling the mayor for.

The petition circulators were present at the meeting but did not speak on the issue. One circulator, Chris Evans, as a member of the City Council was asked by Sword to remove himself from the council’s discussion.

Several people in the audience did speak however, in favor of Mayor Shaw. Comments included, “I support Carl 100%; he doesn’t get involved in petty back-stabbing; in 40 years experience I’ve never seen a mayor down in a pit helping fix a water line until Carl did that.” One opponent complained that the city crew had not properly fixed a sewer problem on 6th St. Another stated that “we don’t have a problem with the city crew’s work but there is partiality and other issues; I don’t trust Carl’s judgment; and Carl doesn’t play well with others.”

The council followed the attorney’s advice in rejecting the petitions. Bev Gehman, who was also one of the circulators, stated after the meeting that she would proceed with new petitions. She asked Sword what they needed to state on the petitions, as she did not think all the specific allegations would fit in the space provided. Sword told her he represented the city and would not advise her.

In other action, the Council heard reports from Committees including the Safety Committee which recommended that Rheta Reagan be appointed as the city’s ADA officer. This appointment was apparently overlooked last May.

John Huddleston asked the council to please move forward with a long term plan for repairing infrastructure (sewer/water lines/wells etc.). Chris Evans stated, “We need a plan, beyond water meters!” Huddleston stated that “Sixth St. was promised to be repaired 15 years ago and it is still bad.” He asked that the council consider putting a weight limit on the street so that big trucks could not further damage water lines, etc.

Drue Littleton spoke with the Council on behalf of Fresh Start. He requested council approval for an addition and additional physical address in order to put in a smoking area. Mayor Shaw stated that he did not feel that the current smoking area was legal. Littleton stated that there are facilities like this in Rapid City and Pierre. Chris Evans stated that the council needed more information about the legality of it before making a recommendation. No action was taken.

The Council passed resolutions to renew their contract for leasing ground for the cell tower on H Street; and approving new fees for the water dock and water hydrant use.

Water dock use will cost 50 cents per 125 gallons beginning February 1st.
The council passed the Personnel Committee’s recommendation to hire Junior Harper as Utility Foreman at a $15.83 per hour wage. Harper was previously promoted to temporary foreman after Les Hanes was let go.
(Story courtesy Edgemont Herald Tribune)


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