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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 14, 2017

Councilor unhappy with campaign

By Rusty Ebert, Ledger correspondent | Nov 24, 2017

KEOSAUQUA – The Keosauqua City Council met Nov. 14 in regular session.

Councilwoman Melissa Mahon, who lost a bid for re-election, addressed the council about her displeasure in how some councilors acted during the campaign. Carol Harlan and Larry E. Shipley won seats on the council with 169 and 142 votes, respectively, edging out Steven R. DeHart with 129 and Mahon with 124.

“I am disappointed that a sitting council member would actively campaign against other council members and the mayor, campaigning negatively about grant money the city has been awarded, and spreading mistruths of city finances,” Mahon told the council. “Several businesses in town and several people in town have jobs that rely on grant money. We are the ‘Keosauqua’ City Council and we are here to do the work for Keosauqua, not for our own personal gain. We’re not the Chuck Lazenby city council [referring to her fellow councilor]. I’m saddened of my seat loss, but I will continue to be an advocate for the city of Keosauqua. I will continue to volunteer my time and money to this city, and wish others would join me in doing so.”

City administrator Joy Padget presented the council with the treasurer’s report and bills for payment. Councilman Lazenby questioned the following bills for payment: Archie’s Banquet Center, Craver & Grothe Law Firm, Doug Brundies, Eyes and Ears, Nathan Gosnell, and Reed & Reed- street sweeping. Motion Mahon, seconded Atwood to approve treasurer’s report and bills for payment. It was approved 4-1, with Lazenby voting no.

A building permit was approved for Pat Haskins for a concrete patio located at 1201 First St.

A building permit was approved for Matt Hesler for an equipment shed located at 203 Harrison St. Motion carried 5-0.

• Tax abatement for Brenda Perry, 1006 Sixth S. was approved.

• Annual financial report and annual urban renewal report were approved.

• Council discussed re-codification review. Councilman Lazenby expressed his concern for the allowance of the chicken ordinance and believes that this ordinance should be removed. He felt it wasn’t done correctly. All other council persons felt that there isn’t an issue with the chicken ordinance and it will be continued to next meeting’s agenda.

• Padget updated the council on the 607/609 First St. asbestos inspection. She said the Iowa Department of Natural Resources will be helping fulfill a supplemental inspection to rule out the presence of asbestos. Padget has also been communicating with the DNR about ways they can help with the removal of those buildings with grants.

The inspection was done Oct. 17 by Klingner and Associates, P.C. While not much asbestos was found where the inspector could check, there were several places where it was unsafe to check and those must be assumed to have asbestos.

• Nuisance at 1208 First St. was discussed by council. The city clerk has been in contact with the homeowner and the homeowner assures the city the nuisance will be taken care of.

• Nuisance at 102 First St. was discussed by council. The council commends the cleanup of the property.

• Nuisance at 1105 Second St. was discussed by council. Homeowner will clean up necessary overgrowth.

• Council discussed adoption of ordinance that will prevent facade incompletion. At a previous meeting, council member Twyla Peacock complained about the Riverbend restaurant facade.

• The Villages of Van Buren 2018 membership was approved.

• Council voted to approve liquor license renewal for Tillie’s Tap. Motion carried 4-0; Atwood abstained.

• Council discussed citizen complaint of loose dog and cat at Country Lane Apartments. No action taken, as the tenant has moved.

• Council discussed a citizen complaint of feral cats at Fifth and Cass streets. The city will work with a citizen to help obtain and remove cats. A citizen has complained of cat manure in the yard and patio.

• Council discussed a citizen complaint of tall grass at 209 Walnut St. Complaint has been resolved.

• Nuisance at 1001 Second St. was discussed by council. Landlord will pursue cleaning up tenant’s belongings.

• Nuisance at 201 Chestnut St. was discussed by council. Council voted to proceed to the next step, sending a second letter. The complaint deals with debris and garbage accumulation.

• Council discussed purchasing of conference call equipment per Councilman Lazenby’s request. Council was not in favor of purchasing equipment to be used for phoning in, in the event a councilperson is absent. Cost was cited.

• Light Up First Street is to be held Dec. 8. Council intends to decorate city hall prior to the event and encourages those on First Street to decorate as well.

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