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Steve Lee appointed to GC council

By LeAnn R. Ralph

GLENWOOD CITY — Steve Lee has been appointed to the Glenwood City Council to fill the open seat created by the death of Dave Graese.

Lee was appointed to the city council at Monday night’s meeting on a tie vote broken by Mayor John Larson.

Ruth Herdahl Neumann also was nominated for the open city council seat.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Neumann expressed an interest in serving on the city council.

Neumann told the council she had grown up in the Connorsville area, had graduated from Glenwood City High School, had lived in the Twin Cities area for a number of years, and had returned to Glenwood City in 2008.

She currently serves on the board of the Glenwood Area Historical Society and the auxiliary board for Glenhaven.

Neumann said that while she was not particularly in favor of the sand mine, now that the city has decided to move forward with it, she would be interested in working to help resolve any issues related to the sand mine.

The appointee to the open city council seat will serve until next April, and then the position will be on the ballot for a one-year term, Mayor Larson explained.

In addition to Lee and Neumann, Barb Standaert also expressed an interest in serving on the city council, Mayor Larson said.

City council member Nancy Hover nominated Lee for the position.

Steve Lee has served on the city council before, understands the budget and looks at all sides of a situation, Hover said.

“He would be an asset to the council,” she said.

Several city council members questioned the necessity of filling the position at Monday night’s meeting.

Terry Dunst, an attorney from the law firm of Bakke Norman who represents the city council, said the law requires the position to be filled but does not set a timeframe.

“It could be at the next meeting,” he said.

Several council members also wondered about discussing the nominations in closed session.

Dunst said he did not think discussing the nominations in closed session was allowed under state law.

According to the Wisconsin Attorney General’s Compliance Guide to the Open Meeting Law, the exemption that allows governing bodies to convene in closed session to discuss employment issues does not extend to elected officials because elected officials are not employees.

On both the first vote and the second vote, Lee and Neumann each received two votes.

Mayor Larson cast the tie-breaking vote for Steve Lee.

City council member Crystal Booth was absent from the meeting at the time of the appointment.

Booth arrived at around 7:30 p.m.