By Amber Schumacher
EDGEMONT - During the May 1 City Council meeting, the council was tasked with the swearing in of elected and re-elected council members and other personnel positions as well as approving the renewal of several malt beverage licenses throughout Edgemont. In addition to the legal processes that took place on May 1, the council heard a heartfelt plea from a concerned citizen and mother, Stacie Harter.
The public comment section of the evening, which is usually at the beginning of each council meeting, was pushed to the end of the meeting just prior to adjournment, due to the needs of the agenda. Concerned mother and Edgemont resident Stacie Harter found no issue with waiting until the end of the night to have her voice heard.
She stood and addressed the council concerning ongoing behavioral outbursts and relationship conflicts within the council. Harter, mother to Edgemont High School freshman Nate Leonard, began by stating, “I’ve been bringing my son (Nate) to these meetings for almost three years now. I’ve seen council members come and go and one thing remains the same, you all say you want to work together, and change things.”
Harter paused for a moment before continuing, “I don’t see that. It is personal vendettas.” Harter continued to address all council members regarding their occasional use of foul language as she gestured over to her son who was seated by City Finance Officer Karen Cain, “I am trying to teach him (Nate) to be a better person. You guys, trust me, I know those words, so does he...he doesn’t need to come here and hear them. It’s hard to try to get him to do good things in life and he comes here every week to watch this.”
Before Harter wrapped up her public comment with a gesture of gratitude she concluded, “I wish Carl (Shaw) was here so I could thank him for everything he has done for Nate. That’s all I have to say, please be aware of what you guys are doing and who is here. Just because you don’t agree with someone, doesn’t make them a bad person.”
Mayor Jerry Dibble quickly thanked Harter for her public comment before asking the audience for any additional comments.
Lifelong Edgemont resident George Eberle stood and spoke at the podium regarding an Ordinance read aloud during the earlier portion of the meeting. Eberle addressed the council with his concerns stating, “I’d like to note on the last Resolution Number 13, does that mean inside the city limits, I am going to be protected by ordinances against all buildings about to fall down, piles of junk in yards, tall-overgrown grass and so on?” Eberle waited a brief moment for any response from the council before he concluded, “I would like to know if I could be guaranteed by the common council of Edgemont that this stuff is going to be taken care of this year, not next year, this year.”
The council provided no response to Eberle as Dibble asked for additional public comment before adjourning the meeting for the evening.
The meeting for the evening had begun with the pre-existing city council addressing any old business still on the docket and the usual committee reports. These matters were handled with no lingering business left on the agenda for former council member Carl Shaw to vote on. Before the council adjourned for re-organization, Dibble presented his Mayor’s report by addressing the room and saying, “First of the year was a little rough, hopefully the second half of the year goes a little better. I’d also like to take this opportunity and thank Carl (Shaw) for everything he has done for the city.”
Dibble then proceeded to swear in both council members for Ward II, re-elected council member Barb Strozewski who had no opponent and newly elected council member Robert “Bob” Worden who had beat out former Ward II council member Carl Shaw.
The council also re-appointed Karen Cain as the City’s Finance Officer and approved the continued appointment of Brian Ahrendt at the City’s Attorney for any and all legal matters and proceedings.
The first order of business for the new council was to vote for their council President and Vice President, whom would step in to facilitate the meeting if the Mayor could not be present. After requiring a second, tie-breaker vote, Woodward was elected as council president over Jason Shook in a vote of 3-2. Following, the council voted and elected their Vice President in a close vote of 3-2 in favor of Shook versus absent council member Carla Schepler.
The council moved on to approve a long list of council committee members and board appointments to which there were no verbal objections.
The council further motioned to approve Malt Beverage License Renewals for the following Edgemont businesses: Hat Creek Grill, Fresh Start, Igloo Bar and the Edgemont Theatre.
The council also voted to approve the Mayor’s reading for the American Legion Auxiliary’s proclamation for May 28, 2018 to be Poppy Day in a memorial to all those that have served in the United States military. The council also voted to approve the South Dakota Month of May 2018 as being Wildfire Awareness Month with the South Dakota coined slogan, “One Less Spark, One Less Fire.” Mayor Dibble proclaimed, “this awareness helps us to move forward to become a fire-adaptive community.
Nakina Hair / Fall River County Herald
Edgemont Mayor Jerry Dibble swears in the newly elected councilman to Ward II, Robert “Bob” Worden during the city council meeting on May 1.