Attorney explains mayoral contingency plan at meeting

Intake has design issues
Outlook managing editor

Laurel’s municipal election on Nov. 7 has gotten a lot of attention. Ever since the tally revealed Dave Waggoner, a city employee, was elected mayor, the city council has been focused on overturning the result, citing a conflict of interest. While that race has been featured on all the local news outlets, the Ward IV council race made national news on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition last Friday. Listed under strange news on its website, NPR’s Rachel Martin noted that Richard Klose was elected to the seat, although he didn’t run for the job.

She said that Klose, “… got a surprise phone call this week. He had been elected to the city council, even though he didn’t run. It wasn’t a scam. Nobody else ran for the position, either.” Martin went on to explain that Klose was offered the council position after receiving the most write-in votes. Fifty-two votes were cast and Klose got three, a majority. She took him to task saying, “That’s what you get for being the popular guy in a small town.”

While Klose has accepted the position, Waggoner hasn’t decided what route he is going to take. 

According to Jeff Mangan of Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices office, “Dave Waggoner’s been duly elected and the election’s been certified.” Mangan said they are watching this race closely, but as far as they are concerned, “The mayor-elect is the mayor. It’s now in his court.”

At Tuesday evening’s rather long council meeting, City Attorney Sam Painter said he plans to draw up a resolution for a contingency plan to ensure the city has a mayor and can continue to do business after the new year. Part of the plan includes getting letters of interest from applicants. Then during a special meeting yet to be announced, the council will select a mayor from the applicants to take the seat if Waggoner decides to keep his city job and decline the mayorship. An advertisement for candidates is in today’s Outlook.

In other business, the council discussed a resolution to do away with the salary matrix for the city judge. The matrix gives Judge Jean Kerr annual raises of just .12 cents annually. She argued that she should have gotten at least what other non-union employees received last year, .60 cents. 

Council also discussed a grant the city received from BNSF for bicycles for the ambulance department. A bicycle emergency response team may violate the terms of the city’s insurance, according to one councilor, and the grant did not go through the usual channels, Mayor Mark Mace said. 

Mayor Mace announced that he had been told by Public Works Director Kurt Markegard that the “pumps on the intake are cavitating.” He said they are losing pressure because of a design issue, but that the intake is working. Mace said Great West Engineering is responsible for fixing the problem.

Staff from Beartooth Resource, Conservation and Development Area, Inc., gave a presentation on their work with the city concluding the meeting.

The entire two-hour meeting can be viewed on the Outlook’s Facebook page.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
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Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check for more info. Find them on Facebook . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Saturday, July 20, 2019
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Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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