By Kevin Thranow
At last week’s regular meeting of the Mission City Council, after approval of the agenda a previous meeting’s minutes, the council tabled the appointment of new aldermen to fill vacant positions until the next council meeting, May 22, 2019, at which the city’s attorney can be present.
Due to end of term and resignation, two city alderman positions are open. State regulations require notice to be given at the beginning of an election cycle of open seats and petitions for nomination are due at the city office no later than February 22. Elections are then held in April, and the first meeting in May is usually an organization meeting to introduce new members and review procedural matters.
No petitions, either from sitting council members or nominees at large, were submitted by the deadline, which results in the appointment of aldermen to fill the open seats by the remaining council members. Those aldermen agreed that it would be prudent to wait until the next meeting when the city attorney would be present, as no one had participated in an appointment before and the council members wanted to be sure that everything was handled according to regulations.
Dan Brave and Frank Iron Heart, who have submitted letters of interest in the open posts, arrived at the meeting shortly after the agenda item had been tabled, and expressed dismay that the council was delaying a decision until the next meeting. Everyone in attendance was in agreement that a regular election would have been the best solution, but no nomination petitions had been submitted. The issue will be settled at the next Mission City Council meeting.
Next on the agenda, Chad Chauncey expressed concern about the lack of daytime police presence in town. His house had been burglarized the previous week, and among other things a loaded handgun was stolen. Council members and Mayor Jack Herman pointed to a lack of funds in the budget to hire more police officers. There are currently three part-time officers in Mission, and another new hire was approved later during the meeting.
Along with the Todd County Sheriff and presence of Rosebud Sioux Tribe Law Enforcement Services, there is a significant police response team in the area, even though around-the-clock patrolling is not always possible. Fortunately, Chauncey was able to provide police with surveillance video of the perpetrators, and hopefully they will be caught soon.
Council members noted that new officers, once they’ve completed training and probationary periods, often leave for higher paying positions elsewhere. It was suggested that the topic be revisited during the next meeting to see if the city’s attorney could offer advice.
Other topics discussed that evening were flood plain cleaning, road repairs, getting an estimate for a new storm drain, and the impending arrival of the new hot mix pothole patching machine. The state is also taking applications again for mosquito control funds.
The next Mission City Council meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at the city office. Meetings are open to the public.