ByIRON RIVER—A proposal to amend Iron River’s charter regarding the council’s structure was rejected by the City Council at its Aug. 15 meeting.
The proposed change would eliminate the rule of electing one council member from each of the four precincts, and a separate ballot for mayor.
If it had passed, five council members would be elected at large, with one selected as mayor.
The proposed amendment brought up discussion about eliminating precincts entirely or reducing them to two.
“Why should we have precincts,” asked Councilman Al Perlongo. “We’re too small.”
Changing or eliminating precincts would impact the county’s commissioner configuration, said Attorney Mark Tousignant.
Mayor Terry Tarsi said the amendment was proposed in order to make it easier for people to run for a City Council seat.
“There could be five people who want to run in one precinct, and no one in another,” he said.
It was brought out that four precincts were required when the city, Stambaugh and Mineral Hills consolidated.
“I don’t see a lack of interest in running for seats,” said Jere Fritsche, member of the city’s planning commission.
“There’s no advantage to doing this.”
Councilman Ray Coates added, “It’s working well. Why change it?”
Tousignant explained if the board passed the resolution, the change would be filed with the governor, then come back to be put on a ballot for a vote.
However, the motion failed, by a 3-2 vote.
a second charter amendment did pass. It concerned council members’ conflict of interest, if they are employed by regional or contracted agencies.
The amendment would remove that prohibition. The motion passed, 3-2, and will go to a vote by residents.
in other business:
--The council approved a bid from Ponchaud Contracting for replacing the roof on the Chamber of Commerce office building, as well as replacing the stairs and deck.
The bid was approved subject to the contractor supplying license information, which was missing from the bid.
--The council approved two pay requests from GEI Consultants for the Rural Development sewer and water projects.
--The council approved placing an advertisement in the county’s plat book for $175.
--An amended countywide solid waste plan was approved.
--City Manager Perry Franzoi told the council the city will begin receiving 100 percent of the countywide road millage back following discussion with the Iron County Road Commission.
Because of a discrepancy in how the millage was collected vs. how it was distributed, the city had been receiving approximately 75 percent of the millage.
Given that agreement with the ICRC, Franzoil received the council’s support of the millage renewal, which will be placed on the November general election.
--Perlongo requested that Craig Richardson, project engineer for GEI Consultants, keep a record of roads receiving “collateral damage” from the water and sewer projects, as he had been getting complaints from residents.
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