November Minutes




November 7, 2017

7:00 p.m.

Hot Springs Senior Center

101 Main Street


CALL TO ORDER– By Mayor Woods at 7:00 p.m.


ROLL CALL- Present Mayor Woods, Leslee Smith, Richard Adams, Bob Neary, Mary Whitsett(arrived a couple of minutes late)

Also Present: Clerk Amy Gray, Chief of Police Stuart Smith, Steven Sheffield, Bob Woods, Sam Cowles, Margaret Haliburton, Gary Cremer, Izzy Cremer, Nisca Warthen, Deana Peters, Nina DeCoster, Linda Landrum, Cheryl Cowles, Janell Clarke, Maura Williams, Judy Norgard, John Marshall


APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES- Motion to approve Minutes from October Meeting made by Adams, Second by Smith. Neary requested to add wording to page one and page 2, Motion Pass with changes 4/0


FINANCIAL REPORTS- Motion made to approve financial reports for September and October by Adams seconded by Smith   Pass 4/0


PRESENTATION OF CLAIMS- Motion to approve claims by Smith seconded by Adams   Pass 4/0



MAYOR-Mayor Woods reported that he had been very busy on the campaign trail attending several debates, He reported that the Town’s total debt was less than $1million. He spoke with the Engineers and they are hoping to be going to bid on the Sewer project in January and the water project in February.

PUBLIC WORKS- Mayor Woods reported that Public Works crew is getting ready for winter, cycling valves and flushing hydrants and plowing. We have received 6 applications for Public Works employee and will be scheduling interviews in the next few days. Neary asked about getting an information packet for the bid and asked that he gets it the information sooner so they have more time to review it. Mayor Woods indicated the bid would be a longer process this time. It was also reported that Sierra is working a few hours, doing samples, reading meters and doing computer reports for water and sewer. She is still on light duty.

FIRE DEPT-Mayor Woods reported that there had been a couple of slide-ins with bad weather, a house fire that was a total loss, Ambulance has been pretty slow with about 12 calls.

POLICE- Written report presented and read by Officer Smith, Woods explained that the sewer problem that was called in to 911 was not a city issue, it was on their property.

COUNCIL-Neary is still reviewing minutes from Dec 2016- June 2017

CLERK- Will be attending library board meeting to explain financials and budget documents to them

LIBRARY- Linda Landrum presented and read a report

ZONING COMPLIANCE OFFICER-1 pending application

PARKS/RECREATION BOARD- Dinosaur and swing need to have padded ground under the structures and also a specified area around the structures. We have contacted MMIA and the state regarding specifications and will be working on plans over the winter.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE- Chamber recapped Halloween festivities at their last meeting, it was successful. They are considering doing the costume contest earlier next year, and they discussed Chamber memberships and community calendar.

ARTIST SOCIETY-has been meeting every Wednesday because of the silent auction, wine, cheese and chocolate tasting event scheduled for November 10, 6-9.

MUSEUM-closed for the season


COMMUNICATIONS/PUBLIC COMMENT AGENDA ITEMS- Mayor called for public comment, there was none


OLD BUSINESS- no old business




APPOINTMENT OF POLICE COMMISSION MEMBER- Mike Wigton has been contacted and would like to continue to serve on the Police Commission. Motion to keep Mike Wigton on the Police Commission for another term made by Smith/ seconded by Neary Pass 4/0


BOARD OF ADJUSTMENTS- Discussion only. Mayor Woods stated this has come up multiple times and he wanted to discuss with the Council what they wanted to do. MCA 76-2-322 was included and explains that the board of adjustments must include not less than 5 or more than 7 members and that if the Town does not set term limits, the term limits will be 3 years. He also stated the duties and powers of the board are explained in the MCA’s. Neary referred to MCA 76-2-321 says that any ordinance adopted pursuant to this section may restrict the authority of the board and provide that the city, town council, and other legislative bodies reserve to itself to make certain exceptions. Neary stated after reviewing things that have happened in the past with our Board of Adjustments, he thinks it would be wise that we put something in writing. He also explained that our Board of Adjustments has been understaffed; Woods stated that it has always been his understanding that if any zoning issue went to the Board of Adjustments, the Board of Adjustments would do the leg work and then it would come to the council for final approval no matter what. Neary again expressed the need for this to be in writing explaining that the MCA states “by ordinance” and he said he likes the idea of a board of adjustments because it gives people different bodies they can appeal to. Neary also stated that Jerry Kontos is on the board of adjustments, and is now the zoning compliance officer so he is judging his own work. Smith stated that she agrees with the need for a Board of Adjustments, but that she would like to see us go back and appoint the planning board first. Adams questioned if we have a Board of Adjustments right now and Mayor Woods explained that there are four people currently appointed, Tara has moved out of the area and needs to be replaced and that since Jerry is the Zoning Compliance officer, he should not be on the Board of Adjustments. We also need to add an additional member to make sure we have between 5 and 7 members appointed. Whitsett commented that she likes the idea of having more avenues to more conversation and more representation. Woods said he would like to open it to the public to put in applications if they want to be on the board and that he would like to appoint 5 people.


LIBRARY TRUSTEE APPOINTMENT The library board has requested that M’lin Kendrick be appointed to the Library Board of Trustees. Motion made by Whitsett, seconded by Neary to appoint M’lin Kendrick pass 4/0.



Janell Clarke commented that she had printed the agenda off of website and that it was the October agenda instead of the November agenda and that it had not been updated on the website. Clerk said that she thought she had it updated and must have entered it incorrectly.

John Marshall provided written statements regarding Susan Roberts claim to be an editor at the newspaper for Philipsburg and her claim that she won an award. He explained that her claims were false and misleading and she was running for office based off of false information.

Mary Whitsett said the outline of the agenda was very brief and she wants a footnote on the agenda about the agenda items. She also stated that she is personally aware that Susan Roberts published a paper called the Hot Springs Journal for about a year and that she has personally seen her work and drawn her own conclusions.



Motion to adjourn by Neary Seconded by Adams   pass 4/0

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