Marion City Council members at their Feb. 3 meeting spent more than an hour in executive session to discuss personnel, but they took no action in public session.
Mayor Mary Olsen said the closed-door sessions were to talk about ?personnel problem issues.?
The first three sessions, totaling 35 minutes, included Olsen, council members and Susan Robson, city attorney.
Two more executive sessions at five minutes each included Olsen, council members, Robson, Becky Makovec, utility billing clerk, and Tiffany Jeffrey, court clerk and police office manager.
The sixth session was with Robson for five minutes, concluding with Olsen, the city council members, Roger Holter, city administrator, and Robson for 15 minutes.
Councilor Todd Heit?schmidt asked Holter to review the recent Elm Street parking ordinance passed by the council two weeks earlier.
Following a discussion about the ordinance, the council decided on no action, however, the issue will be brought back March 3.
?The ordinance on Elm Street,? Holter explained, ?was based off of public safety and based on available parking places depending on how we made the street.?
By designating the west side of both streets as no parking zones, he said, we had an appreciable increase in the number of available parking places for events being held at any of the three businesses in that area and for the residents.
?Ty Zeiner did meet with me,? Holter said, ?to say there was a no parking designation on the east side.?
Holter said he found the ordinance from 1976 in which the entire east side from Main to the termination point on Hudson was a no parking zone, as well as seven other locations in the city.
?Sometime between 1990 and 1992, the parking enforcement and signs no longer existed based on an executive order from the police chief,? he said.
Talking with pastors
In addition to speaking with Zeiner of Zeiner Funeral Home, 205 Elm St., Holter said he also talked with Christian Church Pastor Carl Helm at 140 N. Elm and Presbyterian Church Pastor Jeremiah Lange at 610 E. Lawrence.
?There has been conversation to amend the existing ordinance and comply with the needs of the businesses as well as public safety in the neighborhood,? he said.
Heitschmidt also explained to Holter that the 1976 ordinance needed to be addressed, too.
?At this time, no signs will be posted on Elm Street until we resolve the ordinance we just passed along with the one from 1976,? he said.
?Police Chief Tyler Mermis said he was going to talk with residents and see how it would affect them as well as the business folks,? Holter said.
Olsen asked about parking on Lawrence and if that would stay the same with an $80 fine for anyone violating the recently approved ordinance.
?How about the signs?? Olsen asked. ?Should we have them on order??
Heitschmidt explained he would rather get everything settled before ordering signs.
?We need to schedule a discussion again for four weeks or two council meetings from now,? he said. ?By then the administration, police chief and city attorney have worked out some kind of ordinance.?
The first reading of the ordinance could then be on March 17.
According to Holter, codification will not outline that as part of designated traffic routes within the town, so that is the other piece to this equation.
?If we move to city code versus ordinance resolution format, the issue is resolved at that point,? he said.
Victor Buckner, a resident of Victoria Heights Addition near Marion Country Club, addressed the council about water problems at his home.
According to information provided by Public Works Director Marty Fredrickson, when spring arrives, the city will be conducting its flushing program on the water distribution system. ?
This keeps the disinfection levels at a desired level and prevents customers from experiencing discolored water,? he stated.
Buckner said he is the spokesman for others affected with this problem.
?We also don?t get our roads maintained or (plowed) when it snows,? he said.
Olson thanked him for coming, adding Fredrickson is working on their situation.
In other business, the council:
? heard from Rosemary Saunders of Ranson Financial to discuss the Jex Sewer project and two invoices.
One of the invoices, $19,800, was for EBH Engineering and the other for Ranson Financial of $2,000.
?The project is 95 percent complete,? she said, ?other than reseeding and cleanup.?
? was presented with an equipment maintenance procedure from Marty Fredrickson, director of streets and building inspector.
? accepted Marion County?s assistance with the Fourth and Williams streets project.
The next council meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 17.