MINUTES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETING
April 2, 2019 7:00 p.m
Hot Springs Senior Center 101 Main Street
CALL TO ORDER by Mayor Woods at 7:00 pm
ROLL CALL Mayor Woods, Neary, Whitsett, Stelter attended via phone, Smith was absent.
Also Present: Amy Gray, Stephen Sheffield, Eric Pfleger, Dawn Dearmin, Mike Geddes, Bruce Olsen, M’lin Kendrik, John Marshal, Bob Woods
APPROVAL OF MINUTES- Stelter motion to approve minutes second by Neary. Whitsett had comments on wording in the minutes she thought could be changed particularly during Shelly Mitchel’s presentation. No changes made to minutes. 2-1 pass. Neary, Stelter – aye Whitsett- no
PRESENTATION OF CLAIMS- Neary motion to approve claims, Whitsett second 3-0 pass
Mayor Woods opted to move business items before Reports due to telephone connection with Mr. Stelter.
COMMUNICATIONS/PUBLIC COMMENT AGENDA ITEMS- Mayor Woods called for public comment on agenda items, there were none.
WASTEWATER PROJECT PAY APPLICATION FOR MONTANA UNDERGROUND and MORRISON MAIERLE – Stelter motion to approve pay app for Montana Underground and Morrision Maierle Seconded by Neary 3-0 pass
WORK SESSION REVIEW UPDATE- NEXT WORK SESSION WILL BE APRIL 23, 2019 AT 6PM- Mayor Woods gave an update on the progress of the work sessions. The next work session will be April 23, 20019 in Town Hall. At that time we will be reviewing all changes that have been suggested during previous work sessions and discuss them. Public was encouraged to attend
MAYOR- Mayor Woods reported that he had been working on a lot of Public Works projects since the last meeting. The funding had come in from the New Gas Tax and equipment and supplies are being ordered for projects that will be done with that money including fixing streets and replacing more storm drains.
PUBLIC WORKS has been putting inserts in all of the manholes to stop infiltration, they have been cleaning culverts and ditches and would be sweeping streets in the next week or so. Part time public works person has been filling potholes all over town and would continue to do so.
FIRE DEPT- no fires, multiple car wrecks this month mostly due to high speeds. Ambulance was slow most of the month but had been busy over the past few days.
POLICE- Chief Pfleger reported the sheriff’s office has made the switch for case management from SWIFT TO ADSI. He also presented a written report of police activity for the month of March. Mayor Woods reported that the Town is working on a grant for some new police vehicles.
COUNCIL- Whitsett commented that she had appreciated Paul seconding her motion at the previous council meeting and that she appreciated compliments she received after the last council meeting. There was some discussion on chemicals used for killing weeds in town and Woods explained that chemicals were only used in our locked facilities.
CLERK- Gray will be at Clerks Institute during May meeting and we will have a “guest secretary” keeping notes from the May meeting.
LIBRARY M’lin presened the library repor
ZONING COMPLIANCE OFFICER- Mayor Woods was approached by a few people inquiring about additional homes on existing lots. He explained that they needed to meet zoning requirements and if they did not they have the option to file for a variance.
PARKS/RECREATION BOARD- Bruce Olsen from the Parks and Recs board was present at this meeting. He explained the Board has taken a few months off, and asked about the progress of the swing set. Mayor Woods explained the swing set will be completed once the ground dries out a little and we can work out a schedule with the welder. Olsen also stated the board was ready to move forward with planning on the park restroom. Woods added that there is a need for electricity in the park. There was also discussion about the Tree City group that sent a lady to Hot Springs to discuss inventorying trees and assisting the town with tree value and information.
COMMUNICATIONS/PUBLIC COMMENT NON-AGENDA ITEMS
John Marshal spoke about the public behavior and conduct at the city council meetings and explained that he had been at other public meetings where the behavior and language that he has seen would have resulted in a police escort out of the building. He recommended that it be announced at the beginning of the Town Council meetings what type of behavior would be prohibited and would result in removal and stated that he would like to see the city council enforce this.
Mary Whitsett asked about public comment and asked for clarification on what is allowed in public comment.
Mayor Woods explained that the public has a right to public comment and has freedom of speech but that there is a point where that person crosses a line and it may become harassment, threatening, personal attacks. He explained that he appreciates public comment especially if they come with a solution. He also explained that you don’t have to wait until a meeting to come talk to us. You can go to Town Hall or talk to him and it doesn’t have to wait until the meeting.
Whitsett asked if someone says something that might be considered slander, do they have to take it out in court or deal with it on a personal level?
Mayor Woods says sometimes things said at the meetings are pretty slanderous. We still need to allow public comment so they can be a part of the process. A lot of times they are just misinformed or need more information.
Whitsett expressed that it’s not the Mayor or clerk’s style to take a heavy hand at things and as of late, things have stayed relatively calm and taken care of at the meetings.