City of Marion delays cleanup

Complaint filed against city attorney

Managing editor

Marion City Council will wait another two weeks before taking the next step in cleaning up properties.

City Attorney Dan Baldwin was unable to attend Monday’s council meeting to discuss dilapidated properties because he was at a hearing at Council Grove.

The council had met in a work session a week earlier to discuss the city’s ordinance regarding nuisance properties. Baldwin suggested the council come up with a plan to systematically address unsafe and blighted properties.

Mayor Mary Olson asked the council Monday for another work session to discuss an ordinance pertaining to such properties. Councilman Steve Smith said the council needed to set priorities with Baldwin in a regular meeting. Councilman Chris Meierhoff said he wanted more time to review the issue. The topic will be an agenda item at the next council meeting.

Complaint filed

Roger Schwab of Marion filed a letter of complaint against City Attorney Dan Baldwin on Monday for Baldwin’s conduct toward City Clerk Alan Meisinger at the June 14 city council meeting.

Schwab alleges that Baldwin came out to the auditorium foyer where the public was waiting after an executive session. According to Schwab, Baldwin turned to re-enter the council room, laughed, said something to Meisinger, and slapped Meisinger on the buttocks.

“This incident is a classic example of sexual harassment and the type of incident that leads to lawsuits against perpetrators and their employers,” Schwab said. “What a terrible, thoughtless, and unprofessional position Mr. Baldwin’s actions have put Mr. Meisinger in.”

Meisinger’s mother, Maggie Meisinger, is Baldwin’s secretary.

At Monday’s meeting, Schwab continued reading from a written statement that it was time for this “good old boy attitude of anything goes to stop and for consequences to be issued.

“Please do something about this,” Schwab said. “No employee should have to go through this again and the city shouldn’t have to be liable for this.”

The council did not make any comment.

School crossing concern

Olson also asked for a designated crosswalk with signs at the intersection of Cedar and Lawrence streets. Police Chief Josh Whitwell said he and city officials would look at the situation.

“I want to know the cost involved for positing signs,” Smith said.

Smith said he wants to make sure there are sufficient funds to do it.

Projects move forward

DeWaay Financial Network, LLC, was the low bidder for bonds for the city’s waterline replacement project.

The council approved a 10-year bond for $585,000 for waterline replacement and sewer plant improvements.

A bond that was issued in 2002 was paid off through this new bond issue, saving the city $10,000 in interest.

The council entered a 15-minute executive session to discuss personnel with no decisions when it returned to open session.

The next council meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. July 12 in the city building.

 

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