City council sets hours, OKs appointments
Mayoral appointments were made and hours were set at the City Lake during a short meeting of the Baldwin City Council Monday night.
Hours were set at City Lake, located southeast of town. The lake will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The hours will be enforced by the Baldwin City Police Department.
City Council members discussed adding a gate to prevent entry into the park after hours. Council member Gene Nelson said a gate would save on patrol time.
"I'm assuming it will be cheaper to keep it gated and have to do gate repairs than sending a patrol car out there two or three times a night," Nelson said.
Council member Ted Brecheisen said there used to hours at the lake, but the ordinance was lost. A new ordinance was approved Monday.
Baldwin City Police Chief Steve Butell and City Administrator Larry Paine requested the hours be established. Several parties have been broken up at the lake.
"This gives the law the lever to get them out of there, instead of just quieting them down if they are raising Cain," said council member Lee Whaley.
The council said overnight camping, such as by Boy Scout groups, will still be allowed.
Mayor Stan Krysztof made the following appointments during the meeting: John Cochran, city magistrate; Robert Bezek Jr., city attorney; Jim Craig, city treasurer; Peggy Nichols, city clerk; Steve Butell, chief of police; Allen Craig, fire chief; Terry McKinney, director of utilities; Bill Winegar, assistant director of utilities; Patty James, municipal court administrator; Jim Tarwater, building inspector, zoning inspector and public officer; Mike Grosdidier, planning commission (4 years); and Alan Schmidt, recreation commission (4 years).
The positions are appointed annually by the mayor in May.
The City Council is discussing an ordinance that would give the city administrator the authority to appoint the positions of city employees, such as the police chief and city clerk. The mayor would be responsible for planning commission, recreation commission, library board and other appointments of non-city employees.
Under the current ordinance, the mayor makes all of the appointments. However, the ordinance was written before the city had an administrator.
"We hired an administrator and put those responsibilities on him, so we need to give him those responsibilities," said council president Marilyn Pearse.
Brecheisen didn't see a need for change.
"We've operated this way a long time," Brecheisen said. "I don't think we need to change. I am comfortable with the mayor appointing the people. I have mixed feelings of what could happen down the line."
Mayor Krysztof disagreed.
"To me, it's an outdated system that needs a little correction," he said.
The issue was tabled until the next meeting, so the discussion can include input from Paine. He is at a conference this week.
Baldwin City got a little smaller Monday night. The council approved a request from Jerry Donnelly to vacate less than a quarter acre on the west side of his development.
There was a discrepancy in the legal description of the property lines, and as a result of litigation the 11-foot wide strip of land was awarded to the property owner.
The council agreed to remove the land from the city limits.
In other business, the council tabled a request for a donation to the Baldwin City Jaycees for the organization's Fourth of July community fireworks display. The council wanted a Jaycees representative to be present to tell the council what is being planned and where.
City clerk Peggy Nichols gave a report about the 1999 audit, which was recently completed.
"It was pretty tame compared to last year," she said.
She said the city needs to make some minor changes to how it reports court fines. Auditors requested more details. Nichols also said the city is implementing a detailed accounts payable process, because "we had some good size duplicate payments."
"We are very pleased with what we are seeing," said Krysztof. "The whole city crew is doing a tremendous job."
Several council committee meetings are scheduled for next week. The Public Safety Committee will meet at 7:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall to discuss some proposed changes to the Maple Leaf Festival. The Maple Leaf Festival Committee is requesting that the parade route be changed and for the city to fine vendors who do not obtain a city permit.
The new route would turn north on Seventh Street from High Street, turn left on Grove Street, and back north on Eighth Street. Safety concerns, liability issues and better control of food booths were the reasons given by the committee for the change.
The Utility Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the public works building to discuss several utility projects.
The council will meet as a whole at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 11, to discuss the 2001 budget.