Council welcomes new city manager

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By Shelia Tomkins

Guttenberg's new city manager, Denise Schneider, attended her first monthly council meeting on Sept. 11 following her tentative hiring last month. As the first order of business, the council officially approved the terms of her contract at Monday night's meeting.

Mayor Russ Loven opened the meeting with a moment of silence in remembrance of 9/11 victims and also for victims of recent hurricanes and disasters.

At the table were councilmembers Austin Greve, Fred Schaub, Virginia Saeugling, Jane Parker and Steve Friedlein; assistant city manager Jamie Blume and city attorney Michael Schuster.

UTV discussion

Discussion continued on allowing UTVs to operate on city streets. At last month's meeting,  the council asked the city attorney to prepare an ordinance allowing the use of UTVs on city streets. At Monday night's meeting, Attorney Schuster presented an ordinance governing the operation of UTV's, All-Terrain Vehicles and snowmobiles. He explained that the ordinance is based on Iowa law, and that after approving the ordinance, the council could then later approve by resolution what type of vehicles to allow on specified city streets and any other restrictions. 

Schuster said by approving the ordinance the council was not authorizing any of those vehicles -- it was a foundation to allow future action by resolution. He described the ordinance as "very little different from what you have." The city attorney recommended adopting the ordinance and later decidingwhat types of vehicles to allow. "It permits you to later permit any, none or some," he said. "You are not authorizing anyone to operate any of these with this ordinance."

Comments  were made by resident Hank Fassbinder, a proponent of UTVs, and Police Chief George Morteo, who answered questions and expressed his support for setting age limits. 

The council approved the first reading of the ordinance, waived the second and third readings and approved the ordinance's final passage. It was the council's consensus that the city attorney and police chief formulate a proposal on a resolution prior to the next council meeting.

Other business

Acting on a recommendation from the city rec board, the council unanimously eliminated the $5 non-resident fee for pool services for the next season, making resident and non-resident fees the same.

Mayor Loven gave the council a summary of a billboard project being studied by Umbrella Arts, and said council member input is welcome.

The council approved three changes in city code to reflect recent legislative actions on fireworks, cigarette and tobacco permits and water service discontinuation.

Mayor Loven made a recommendation that the compensation for mayor and council be increased. Current council members received $25 per meeting and the mayor receives $2,500 annually. Compensation given by cities of similar size were presented. It was noted that according to law, October is the last month that the council can legally increase compensation for the coming year. No action was taken at Monday night's meeting. 

Resident Barb Pape spoke about several nuisance properties she has noticed in the community.

In consent agenda action, the council appointed the new city manager to positions currently held by deputy city clerk Jamie Blume on the CDBG Housing, Regional Housing and Kids Kampus board. 

Following adjournament, the council re-convened to approve a resolution authorizing signatures for banking purposes to now include the new city manager. 

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