Mayor Sets Tone Of Meeting
GLENWOOD CITY — Mayor John Larson took control of the special council meeting at the Community Center Monday night. There was only one purpose for the meeting and that was about discussing and approving a new non-metallic mine operator’s license ordinance and repealing the existing ordinance.
Mayor Larson informed the group of about 25 people that had gathered at the community center, “there would be no public comments this evening.” The mayor was concerned that the meeting would get out of control like what happened at the last council meeting when the council received verbal assaults from several people that filled the city hall.
After opening the meeting and having roll call, which showed all council members present, the mayor read from a prepared statement. He was discussing Civil Discourse and after stating that he looked it up on Google and he described it as, “is the engagement of discourse (conversation) intended to enhance understanding.”
The mayor continued, “Author, Kenneth Gergen describes civil discourse as the ‘language of dispassionate objectivity’ and suggests that it requires respect of the other participants, such as the reader or listener. It will neither diminishes the other’s moral worth, nor question their good judgment; it avoids hostility, direct antagonism, or excessive persuasion; it requires modesty and an appreciation for the other participant’s experiences.”
The mayor concluded with Gergen’s feelings about mutual respect. “Honoring each other’s right to represent their view in public and avoiding demonizing one another. It requires that, even if I think you are tragically mistaken, I honor your right to participate in our democratic enterprise of public moral conversation.”
After the mayor finished and indicated that there will not be any public participation in the meeting, one citizen, Carol Vega waved her hand and interrupted the mayor after he said that if anyone could not abide by the not trying to speak during the meeting should leave the room. Vega said, “Well then I will have to leave,” but she continued to verbally question the mayor and council until Police Chief Darwin escorted her from the Community Center.
The council then turned its attention to the matter at hand and had three documents of the proposed non-metallic mine ordinance in front of them. The first document was the draft ordinance dated August 6th as recommended by the Committee to the City Council. The second draft was with suggestions from the Glenwood City School District’s attorney and third, was a draft that incorporated some of the schools’ suggestions as modified by the City Attorney on this matter, Terry Dunst.
Dunst then went over the changes with the city council, and noted each item that the school had identified and indicated his approval or his objections. The council reviewed the entire 21-page document and fielded some questions to Dunst.
After a short period the mayor asked for a motion on the proposed ordinance. Council member David Graese moved to accept the final draft of the ordinance that incorporated some of the school district suggestions. The motion was seconded by Terry Klinger and passed by a five to one vote with member Crystal Booth voting in the negative.
As for the present ordinance the council quickly voted 6-0 to repeal it. Dunst told them the city should not have two conflicting ordinances and that the old one contained wording that was not in line with present state rules and probably could not be enforced.
With that business taken care of the council adjourned the meeting that lasted only about half an hour.