Council rejects mayor appointment

Staff writer

Marion City Council voted against an appointment to Marion Planning Commission by Mayor Mary Olson. Council members Chris Meierhoff, Jerry Dieter, and Todd Heitschmidt voted against Olson’s proposal of Diane Holub.

Olson said Holub would provide an equally levelheaded replacement for Dusty Hett.

The council members who voted against the appointment will have to submit a written reason to Olson why the appointment was not acceptable in 45 days. One reason offered during the meeting was that Holub already serves on the Board of Zoning Appeals.

City Administrator Doug Kjellin suggested that it was good policy to limit the number of people who serve on both boards in case there is legal action where one body is asked to rule against the other. Kjellin said such a case popped up a few years ago and caused problems when the two boards shared several members.

In other business:

  • The council voted to renew their services agreement with Ranson Financial Consultants for 2013. The primary service Ranson provides the city is grant administration for Community Development Block Grants. Providing administration and securing loans from Kansas departments of health and transportation will cost the city $85 an hour.
  • The council approved Marion Fire Department placing excess inventory up for Internet auction. Items include a roof ladder, attic ladder, section ladder, frame tank, and fire helmets. Fire Chief Mike Regnier said all the items have been upgraded or are equal duplicates.
  • An ordinance granting authorization to Rural Electric Cooperative Association to provide services to Marion residents north of U.S. 56 was approved. The council approved the franchise fee of 3 percent of the total gross.
  • The council voted against a Christmas light credit. The previous credit in 2011 was for $9 to $10 of the electric bill. Council members agreed the better way to spend money earned over the holiday season would be to give it to employees through raises or bonuses.
  • Kjellin informed the council of an informal offer for the city-owned property at 828 N. Roosevelt St. Kjellin said the buyer, who did not wish to be named, offered $125,000 for the former Arlie’s Paint, Body, and Glass building. However, Kjellin said it would cost the city about $237,000 to refinance the property through Cottonwood Valley Bank. The council members agreed with Kjellin that the offer was insufficient.
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