Jeff council hears resident’s concerns, handles several agenda items

The municipal golf course and transparency of the golf course budget was discussed during the open forum at the start of the Jefferson city council meeting Tuesday.

Resident Denny Lautner voiced his concerns about the municipal golf course, calling it “a place for the rich to play and party at city taxpayers’ expense.” He questioned the employment of manager Micah Destival, whose permanent residence is not in Jefferson, and he questioned why reports of golf course expenses and revenues aren’t published.

Lautner talked about a phone call to a council member he didn’t name but called a liar, and asked, “Do we need a councilman who doesn’t tell the truth?”

When Lautner seemed to be finished, council member Harry Ahrenholtz said that it was he who Lautner was referring to, and described a phone call from him as a “rant.”

City administrator Mike Palmer said he had sent Lautner a letter providing the website where the golf course budget information can be found. Lautner insisted Palmer hadn’t sent the letter. Palmer offered to send another copy, with city clerk Diana Kennedy saying it would be sent by certified mail.

There were more residents at the meeting than usual, as several members of P.A.W.S. and the Jefferson Matters: Main Street board were there for agenda items.

The council approved a resolution of support for a grant application to the Federal Recreational Trails program for $224,000 funding to replace the aged asphalt walking path at Daubendiek Park with a concrete trail. Park and recreation director Vicky Lautner had already applied for and been denied a $75,000 REAP grant for the project. She said she plans to apply to Grow Greene County for the $75,000.

The council approved changing Roxanne Gorsuch’s employment from administrative assistant/ payroll clerk to deputy city clerk, effective Sept. 1. She will become salaried at an annual salary of $40,000. Gorsuch has been employed by the city for three years.

The council approved fund transfers needed to close the 2016-17 fiscal year, and it approved Pay Estimate #4 for $163,443.37 to Pinnacle Construction for downtown façade work. Palmer said the project is within about $400,000 of being complete.

The council also approved the third reading of an ordinance adopting the 2008 city code of ordinances as the 2017 code of ordinances.

The council approved funding ongoing operating expenses for a new animal shelter. See a related post on GreeneCountyNewsOnline.

Jefferson Matters: Main Street program director Peg Raney made a brief presentation on the Smithsonian exhibit, Hometown Teams, which will be in Jefferson Aug. 11 through Sept. 23. Jefferson is one of six Main Street towns in Iowa selected to host the exhibit in 2018.

Twenty crates of materials comprise the traveling portion of the exhibit. Host towns are encouraged to gather materials for local exhibits including uniforms, trophies, photos, memorabilia, and information. The local displays will include every Greene County town.

Dan Gable is honorary chairperson for Hometown Teams in Iowa. He will visit Jefferson in January, Raney said.

The cost from Jefferson Matters to the Smithsonian is $1,700. There will also be cost involved in some of the events that will lead up to the exhibit. Raney suggested that businesses and organizations consider sponsoring an event or providing funds for marketing materials.

Jefferson Matters is looking for chair of various committees – local exhibition, program planning, installation/ tear down/ transportation, budget and fundraising, marketing and advertising, education, and scheduling exhibit hosts. Raney will be calendar manager and she is looking for an opening events manager.

Persons who want more information can visit the Hometown Teams Facebook page.

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