After a November election that resulted in half of the city government turning over, new Mayor Adam Hoffman presided over the first meeting of 2020 on Monday with very little disruption.
Most of the business, outside of three council members deciding to rotate their commission assignments, was conducted without much fanfare or dispute. The meeting took less than an hour to complete, a fairly quick pace with a short agenda.
Monday was the first day of business for Hoffman as well as new council members Kris Glaser (Ward 2), Heather Beaufore (Ward 4) and Matt Schneider (at-large).
Hoffman had submitted assignments for council liaisons after communicating with the council members with each getting three spots, except for Glaser and Beaufore, who have two each. Two of the boards have two liaisons — Public Safety Board, which are voting members, and the ball diamond task force.
However, Hoffman acknowledged that Glaser had indicated a conflict with his assignment to the Golf Course Commission. It meets at noon on the second Tuesday of each month, but Glaser works in Waterloo with Cedar Valley Hospice and is unavailable at that time.
The new mayor offered all members to take up their assignments, stating he didn’t want “a drawn-out fight” to possibly relieve Glaser of the Golf Course Commission spot.
“Right now, it’s even,” Hoffman said. “It doesn’t have to be even.”
Glaser said he likes the golf course itself, but he said serving on that commission is “challenging.”
“I want to be able to participate in the commission or board that I’m appointed to,” Glaser said.
At-Large Councilwoman Ann Rathe had served on the commission previously. A clinical psychiatrist at Waverly Health Center, she said her schedule is a little more flexible than Glaser’s, and she’d be willing to resume her duties there.
Rathe and Glaser first talked about which commission she was assigned to — Waverly Heritage Days committee, Waverly Senior Center board and ball diamond task force — she would be willing to trade to him.
Ward 3 Councilman Rod Drenkow offered one of his assignments, but he said the Cable Telecommunications Commission, Municipal Housing Commission and Public Safety Board meet during the day. Rathe then suggested either the Senior Center or Heritage Days for a one-to-one trade.
However, Cyndi Campbell, president of the Senior Center board and guest council person for January, objected to the idea of Rathe trading that slot with Glaser. She wanted to keep the at-large councilwoman.
“I’m kind of attached to Ann,” Campbell said.
Rathe then talked up the Heritage Days committee as a good group with which to be on.
“They work hard, and you’ll learn a lot about planning events and running Heritage Days,” she said.
However, when she said that the Heritage Days committee meets at 6:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month, Glaser said that would conflict with the Airport Commission. He was a member of that commission prior to his election and is taking the liaison spot there.
Initially, Hoffman suggested Rathe pick up the Golf Course Commission as a fourth assignment, leaving Glaser with the Airport only.
However, Ward 1 Councilman Brian Birgen asked if Glaser would want his spot on the Historic Preservation Commission, and he would take Rathe’s spot on Heritage Days. Glaser and Rathe agreed to the three-way swap.
In addition to picking up Heritage Days, Birgen will also be on the Public Library Board and Leisure Services Commission. The other liaison assignments for 2020 are Schneider on the Economic Development Commission, Electric Utility Board of Trustees and ball diamond task force, the latter with Rathe; Beaufore will be on the Public Safety Board with Drenkow as well as the Veterans Tribute; and Ward 5 Councilman Tim Kangas will be on the Waverly Municipal Band board, Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Adjustment.
In other business, Waverly Newspapers received a renewal as the city’s official legal newspaper for 2020. City Administrator James Bronner said the council hadn’t always made the assignment to the newspaper in regular business annually, but he felt it needed to be done.
“We have two newspapers in town, with the (Waterloo-Cedar Falls) Courier being an eligible paper to be designated,” Bronner said. “I think to make sure of where everything would be printed each year for our resolutions, etc., we need to do this every single year, and make sure we do.”
Hoffman said that Bronner had mentioned to him that counties are obligated to make this designation, but cities aren’t.
“It’s more of a required formality,” Hoffman added.
Publisher Deb Weigel spoke briefly to the council about the letter she had sent to the council about the circulation of Waverly Newspapers. She also included the distribution numbers for our free publication, the Super Shopper, which is also delivered on Tuesdays.
“I know it’s not necessary to put your legal notices in the shopper,” Weigel said, “but if you’re concerned about the number of people that are receiving and looking at your public notices, we can put them in our shopper at no cost to you, if you would like.”
She said that move would add another 9,611 homes to the city’s reach. It is the same offer she has made to other cities where our sister papers, the Oelwein Daily Register, Independence Bulletin Journal and the Vinton Newspapers — the Vinton Eagle and Cedar Valley Times — are their official publications.
The council also set Fidelity Bank & Trust and UMB as the city’s official depositories. Schneider wondered why the action needed to be taken. Financial Director Jenifer Mein said Fidelity was a name change from State Bank, UMB was previously Banker’s Trust, and Lincoln Savings Bank was deleted because their Waverly branch has closed.
“It’s just updating the depository resolution,” Mein said.
Additionally, Kangas was named mayor pro-tem after a two-year break when former At-Large Councilwoman Edith Waldstein handled the job for 2018 and 2019, and Police Chief Rich Pursell was reappointed to the Bremer County E-911 Service Board through January 2021.
In the consent calendar, the council approved three payments to McClure Engineering, one for the 20th Street Northwest construction project, another for the airport obstruction removal project and the third for the runway expansion project totaling $28,633.76; a payment to WHKS & Co. for $21,895.36 for the wastewater treatment plant improvement project; $675 to A&R Land Services for the airport land acquisition project; and $2,722.37 to the Chicago Central & Pacific Railroad for the 20th Street Northwest crossing project.
Schneider had asked to pull the WHKS payment for separate discussion. However, Bronner answered his concerns quickly.
“This is the engineering for the $89 million sewer plant that we’ve been working on for the past number of years,” Bronner said. “It’s a continuation of that process.”