Mayor Pelzel addressed those in attendance and those watching on television at home.
After a series of Sleepy Eye City Council meetings where the behavior and demeanor of those in attendance left something to be desired (at least by this reporter) Mayor Wayne Pelzel took up the matter at the Tuesday, Nov. 12 council meeting.
Prior to calling the meeting to order, Mayor Pelzel stepped in front of the council desk, microphone in hand, and delivered a message to those in attendance and those watching on their televisions at home.
Mayor Pelzel noted that several months ago the practice of holding an Open Forum period before council meetings was put in place, with two rules: no foul language, and no personal attacks.
Saying that both of those rules had been breached at recent meetings, Mayor Pelzel announced there would be no more Open Forum. “Citizens have the right to talk with any one on this council at any time,” he said.
The mayor then presented “City Council Meeting Etiquette,” which he’d also printed and placed on the chairs in the chambers.
“City Council Meetings are the business meetings of the City of Sleepy Eye. Please help to keep the meeting businesslike by abiding by the following:
•Raise your hand to be recognized if you want to address an issue [an issue on the agenda].
•Speak to issues only - refrain from all personal attacks.
•Use appropriate language - no foul language.
•Intimidation is unacceptable - NEVER threaten.
•Limit your responses to two - do not attempt to dominate the floor.
•Refrain from outbursts.
“Failure to comply with appropriate etiquette may result in being asked to leave the meeting.” [The mayor added — if asked to leave two times, the person is not allowed at a council meeting for a year.]
Then Mayor Pelzel called the meeting to order with the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
The remainder of the council meeting was filled with routine matters.
•The first reading was called for an amendment to the zoning ordinance requiring a survey for additions.
•Approved a resolution awarding the sale of $616,000 in General Obligation Capital Improvement Bonds. City Manager Bob Elston explained the purpose is to replenish cash on hand before year end to keep a favorable bond rating prior to issuing bonds for the 2020 Street and Utility project and the 12th Avenue NE railroad crossing project. The bond purchase was awarded to Americana Community Bank which bid a 2.37% interest rate, with the ability to pay off the bonds whenever the city wishes.
•Accepted a bid of $216,300 for a 2016 motor grader.
•Engineer Jordan Albrecht, in for Dave Palm, updated the council on the 2020 Street and Utility project, with bid opening expected in March; and the 12th Avenue NE Crossing project, with bid acceptance expected in February.
•Elston corrected the time for the Dec. 10 Truth in Taxation hearing to 7 p.m., at the opening of the council meeting (not 6:30 as previously set.)
•Council approved replacing carpet in city hall offices at $11,767 for materials and installation, bid by Furniture Gallery.
Following the meeting, Elston confirmed Mike Hardin had been offered and accepted the position of Director of Public Works.