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Vote planned for proposal on Mitchell administrator

The Mitchell City Council plans to vote Monday on a proposal to add a city administrator to the city’s government.

The council’s agenda includes a 7 p.m. Traffic Commission meeting and the 7:30 p.m. City Council meeting, all in Council Chambers at City Hall, 612 N. Main St.

For months, city officials have discussed the idea of adding a city administrator, who would oversee the city’s department heads on a day-to-day basis and essentially act as an assistant to the mayor.

At the Dec. 2 council meeting, several Mitchell residents, including Innovative Systems CEO Roger Musick, spoke in favor of adding a city administrator.

The proposal to add a city administrator is different from one put forward to add a city manager to the city’s government that was rejected by Mitchell voters in 2011.

Unlike city managers, city administrators are not the chief executives of the cities they serve, and instead are accountable to the mayor; they have little, if any, authority to hire or fire city employees or prepare a city budget; and only have the authorities granted to them by a mayor or by ordinance, according to Matthew Fairholm, a political science professor at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion. Fairholm met with the council at its last meeting Nov. 18.

There are 20 cities in South Dakota with city administrators, according to information presented at the Oct. 7 council meeting.

Consent Agenda

Council members plan to consider approving the following items as part of a consent agenda:

  • The meeting agenda, council minutes from the prior meeting, minutes from various committee meetings and reports from various city departments.
  • The application of the Palace City Lions Club for a special event liquor license for the Avera Winter Party on Jan. 17 at the Corn Palace.
  • The application of the Palace City Lions Club for a special event malt beverage and wine license for the Abby Road concert on Feb. 1 at the Corn Palace, and the Diamond Rio concert on Feb. 9 at the Corn Palace.
  • Set a Jan. 6 date for hearings on the application transfer a package off-sale liquor license, an on- and off-sale wine license and a malt beverage license from Amstar, 100 S. Main St., to Casey’s General Store, 100 S. Main St.
  • Bills, payroll salary adjustments and new employee hires, and authorize the payment of recurring and other expenses in advance as approved by the finance officer.
  • A list of pay estimates.
  • Raffle requests from Second Chance High Interact Club, with the drawing to be held Feb. 21; Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary’s PTA, with the drawing to be held March 29; My Fishing Pond Inc., with the drawing to be held May 23; and Heart and Sole Cancer Walk, with the drawing to be held Jan. 26.

Other business

In scheduled business tonight, council members plan to:

  • Discuss, during a 7 p.m. Traffic Commission meeting, stop signs at the intersection of First Avenue and Foster Street; a crosswalk on Ash Avenue and Burr Street; and a crosswalk on Ash Avenue and Minnesota Street; and consider a request to permanently close the 100 block of East Sixth Avenue, directly south of the Corn Palace; a request from Tessier’s Inc. to prohibit parking on the west side of North Lawler Street from First Avenue north to the first driveway; and a request from Ron Olson to expand the District A snow removal area to include the 500 and 600 blocks of North Kimball Street and the 600 block of North Rowley Street.
  • Sit as the board of adjustment and consider approving the application of Mike and Elaine Rieck for a side yard setback variance of 3 feet versus the required 8 feet, to construct an addition to their attached garage located at 2901 Dailey Drive.
  • Hear an update and discuss the expansion and renovation of the Corn Palace, specifically regarding the State Historic Preservation Office giving its blessing to the project.
  • Award a bid for the city’s recycling contract.
  • Consider a resolution authorizing Deputy Public Works Director Terry Johnson to act as a representative of the city and sign documents involving right-of-way and easements near Spruce Street.
  • Consider a resolution authorizing the execution of a quit claim deed to end the city’s easements on property owned by Chad Larson.
  • Consider a resolution to dissolve the city’s tax increment financing district No. 4.
  • Consider a resolution to transfer $3,500 to the city’s 2013 budget for professional services.
  • Consider a resolution setting salaries for city employees for 2014.
  • Consider the second reading and conduct a final vote to supplement the City Council portion of the general fund with $2,500 for legal publications, the municipal buildings portion of the general fund with $7,000 for building repair at the James Valley Community Center, the police portion of the general fund with $2,000 for utilities, the traffic portion of the general fund with $2,500 for light maintenance and $7,000 for street light utilities, all from the general fund cash balance; the culture and recreation portion of the general fund with $40,000 for sports authority promotion from business improvement district tax collections; the ProBuild TIF portion of the debt service fund with $10,500 for bond interest from property tax revenue; the sports complexes portion of the special revenue fund with $2,500 for part-time salaries, $2,000 for repair and maintenance and $1,000 for fuel, all from the park fund cash balance; the parks portion of the special revenue fund with $1,700 for repair and maintenance and $3,000 for fuel, both from the park fund cash balance; and the landfill portion of the enterprise fund with $5,000 for state garbage tax and $4,000 for sales tax, both from the sanitation fund cash balance.
  • Consider approving a paramedic clinical agreement between Avera Queen of Peace Hospital and the city of Mitchell.
  • Consider approving Moonlight Bar & Lounge’s application for the renewal of its retail on-sale liquor license.
  • Consider approving an agreement for fire services with the Mitchell Rural Fire Association.