New Faces, New Administrator at Morrison City Council
Outgoing Morrison City Council members (L to R) Sarah Thorndike, Pat Zuidema, Dave Rose, Gus Hayenga and Mayor Roger Drey received plaques in recognition of their years of service to the community. Drey also received a commemorative Morrison Police badge from Chief Brian Melton. (PA photos/Lynnette Forth)
By LYNNETTE FORTH | For The Prairie Advocate News
MORRISON – Many changes went into effect, complete with newly elected officials and the replacement of old ones at the May 13th meeting of the Morrison City Council. In a report of city officers, outgoing Mayor Roger Drey said, “I would like to thank the good people of Morrison for their support over the last eighteen years. It has been an honor and a privilege. Sometimes being an individual on the forefront, being pointed at for decisions, is tough. Thank you, too, to the people up here with me, as well as those serving on committees, and our city workers that make sure things get done. It has been good, sometimes better than others. This job is like a family - you love it, but sometimes you argue with it”.
Police Chief Brian Melton addressed the council, stating “To the outgoing Aldermen, it has been an honor working with you and serving you as your Police Chief.” Melton presented Drey with a badge of the Morrison Police Department, thanking him for his service to the community.
There was no public comment. Board and commission reports included a one page report from the April 4th meeting of the Morrison Business Advisory Committee. During that meeting, the resignation of Bob Vaughn was approved. The membership of E. Yaklich was also approved by the committee.
(L to R) Scott Connelly, Curt Bender, Dale Eizenga and David Helms are sworn in as Morrison Aldermen by Judge William McNeal.
Council members reviewed a report of the Historic Preservation Commission which included an invitation to attend the first public information session to be held on Tuesday, May 21st at the Odell Library at 6:00 p.m. The host for the evening will be Mr. Darius Bryjka, a nationally recognized expert on matters of the rules and restrictions involved in Historic Registration. Mayor Drey urged the public to attend the meeting.
The consent agenda was approved including April 22, 2013 budget hearing minutes; April 22, 2013 regular session minutes (approved after a correction by Alderman Wood); Bills payable in the amount of $224,300.23; April 2013 Treasurer’s report; Request for street closure for the Morrison Farmers Market to be held on July 31st; Approval of Bob Gale resignation from the planning and zoning commission; Approval of Curt Bender resignation from planning and zoning commission; Approval of Everett Pannier resignation from Grove Hill Cemetery board of trustees.
The highlight of the evening was the swearing in of the newly elected officials, given by Judge William McNeal. Outgoing Aldermen were presented with plaques from new Mayor Everett Pannier in appreciation of their combined 87 years of service to the City of Morrison.
Newly sworn-in Mayor Everett Pannier (L) accepts the gavel from Roger Drey.
Fighting back tears, Pat Zuidema said, “It’s been an honor people.” To which Leo Sullivan added, “It has been a pleasure working with all of you.” Following a roll call of the new council, the meeting continued under the direction of Mayor Pannier who said jokingly, “It’s a good thing Melanie is up here to keep me straight.”
Items for consideration and possible action included:
- Annual appointment of City Attorney (will remain the same as currently), and members to boards, commissions, and groups. Mayor Pannier announced the appointment of Evan Haag as City Treasurer. Pannier asked Haag to stand so everyone could get acquainted with him. “He brings a wealth of experience to us,” Pannier said.
- Ordinance #13-11- Amendment to open burning ordinance (tabled to next meeting on 5-29). Wood would like more information on the perimeters of what is being referred to as the C1 business district. Attorney Zollinger informed Wood that there is only one residence in the central business district. Wood requested a map for the next meeting for reviewing before making a decision.
- Ordinance #13-12-Amendment to Enterprise Zone for the Building of a convenience/gas station at an estimated cost of $703,000.00 located on Route 78 South next to MIT across from the Industrial park. (Approved)
- Third signatory on Wells Fargo accounts-replacement of out going Aldermen. Michael Blean made a motion to nominate Dale Eizenga. Scott Connelly seconded. Eizenga accepted. Clerk Schroeder explained that Eizenga would be responsible for signing checks, and would be required to step in and have access to money if the Mayor or Clerk should perish. “It’s for back up basically,” Schroeder explained. (approved)
Aldeman Wood questioned if the city had ever had a procedure for the purpose of renting the community room, and a circuit breaker goes out. Administrator Jim Wise informed Wood that emergency instructions are on the application for use, and a phone number is also on the permit.
Wood also questioned whether or not the council meetings are being aired on the television on Tuesday and Thursday nights as planned. Administrator Wise stated “We are still working on that. They are on the city website. Media Com informed me that channel 18 is out of Clinton, and that there is no resolution to the situation.”
Following the executive session, Mayor Pannier made a surprise announcement stating, “I am not going to continue the employment contract with the City Administrator. I have asked Gary Tresenriter to be the acting City Administrator until I can find a suitable replacement.” Wise will be finished the end of May, unless he wishes to be done sooner.
The next council meeting is scheduled for May 29th, in the Whiteside County Board Room at 7:00 p.m. The public is encouraged to attend all meetings.