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Everson eager to lead Mitchell

Newly sworn-in Mayor Bob Everson has a laugh during the Mitchell City Council meeting on Monday night. (Matt Gade / Republic)

After a 27-day wait to become Mitchell's next mayor, not even a 10-minute delay was going to dampen Bob Everson's excitement.

Despite Judge Patrick Smith's delay in getting to Mitchell City Hall to administer the oath of office, Everson was sworn in as the city's 35th mayor during Monday's City Council meeting, and the lifelong resident of the city said he's eager to get to work.

"I've been busy," he said of the month-long run-up to his move into office. "So far, that part hasn't been too bad, certainly nothing overwhelming."

Everson, who received nearly 46 percent of the vote on June 5 in a four-way race for mayor, said he's taken chances to meet with a few civic groups and each of the city's department heads to get on the same page about his vision for the city. He noted he's a "self-proclaimed eternal optimist" about how to approach the city's issues.

"I think we've got good workers in the city, we've got good department heads in the city and I think we're on track with those goals to keep things moving ahead," he said. "I think Mitchell is a great place to live. I love living here. And we're going to work to make things better for the city."

Everson cited the potential Lake Mitchell dredging project and downtown upgrades to the Main Street infrastructure as items currently on the city's plate.

"Hopefully we can get Lake Mitchell going, and I think that's been on the docket long enough and it's time to do something about it," he said. "Or forget it, although I'm in favor of doing something. It's a gem that we have and a lot of cities wish they did."

The judge, for his part, took accountability for the mistake in timing, saying he lost track of the time. But he said he was appreciative of the chance to swear in Everson, for whom he has known for a long time.

"We're both long-time Mitchell residents and I'm happy and pleased to be here and to do this," Smith said prior to administering the oath.

Everson replaced Jerry Toomey, who did not seek re-election. On his way out of the center chair at City Hall, Toomey was presented with a ceremonial gavel to mark his three years as the city's mayor and was thanked for his service. He proceeded to shake the hands of his fellow city leaders before sharing a few pleasantries with the incoming Everson.

The oaths of office were the highlight of quick meeting for the council. Newly elected Ward 1 councilor Dan Sabers, Ward 2 re-election winner Kevin McCardle and unopposed incumbents Steve Rice and Jeff Smith took the oaths for their respective council seats.

Rice was re-elected as the council's president, while Susan Tjarks was selected as the council's vice president for the 2018-19 year.

The council also recognized Ward 1 councilor Mel Olson, who completed eight years as city councilor on Monday. He was given a desk clock with a photo in it.

"Personally, I want to thank you and it's been a pleasure sitting next to you," said Rice.

"Does this mean my time's up?" Olson asked, motioning to the clock and drawing laughs from the audience.

Unfinished business

The following actions were taken by the 2017-18 council prior to the seating of the new council:

• Called meeting to order, Pledge of Allegiance, invocation from Cornerstone Baptist Church, roll call.

• Approved previous meeting minutes, and committee meeting minutes.

• As part of the consent agenda, approved a change order for Sanborn Boulevard utility and street improvements to BX Civil and Construction, an addition of $7,092 to add crushed concrete aggregate to alleviate soft spots in the subgrade.

• As part of the consent agenda, approved gas and fuel quotes, pay estimate schedule, and bills, payroll, salary adjustments and new employee hires.

• Sitting as the Board of Adjustment, approved a request from Laura Picek to operate a family residential child care center at 1033 E. First Ave. The application was contingent of being non-transferrable and expiring after six months if it was not used.

• In the public input portion of the meeting, Mitchell Chief of Public Safety Lyndon Overweg noted that Jason Hohn's Lawn Care, of Mitchell, has offered to do the mowing and trimming at the Veterans Park area at no charge to the city.

Consent agenda

City Administrator Stephanie Ellwein asked the council to remove the motion to regarding the purchase of a used oil distributor for the street department, at a cost of $60,000 or less. That will be brought back at a later meeting. The council took the following actions:

• Approved the following raffle permits: Holy Family Church on Aug. 5 for a new church organ; VFW Post 2750 on Sept. 29 to benefit ALS research and the VFW renovation; two raffles from the Mitchell Skating and Hockey Association on Jan. 19, 2019 and Feb. 16, 2019, benefitting the Avera Queen of Peace Foundation and the MSHA.

• Set July 16 as the date for the following hearings: a special event liquor license at the Masonic Lodge Aug. 3 for the Lakeview golf mixer; and the transfer of retail (on-sale) liquor license RL-5363 from LAB, LLC, 501 S. Sanborn Blvd. to The Back 40, LLC, dba The Back 40 Taphouse Grill, 511 N. Main St.; and the transfer of retail (on-off sale) malt beverage license RB-2169 from The Back 40, LLC, dba The Back 40 Taphouse Grill, 511 N. Main St. to LAB, LLC, 501 S. Sanborn Blvd.

• Approved the application of the Palace City Pre-Sturgis Party for a special event license to close: Main Street from Fourth to Seventh avenues, a half-block east and west of the 100 blocks of the Fifth and Sixth Avenues from noon to 11 p.m., the Sixth Avenue Plaza, and closure of the Fifth and Main parking lot, as well as the Northwestern parking lot to allow motorcycle parking, car show, food vendors and a farmers market. Also, to obtain a consumption permit from 5 to 10 p.m. in the above described area, public property only, and a noise permit for Aug. 2.

• Appointed Jon Osterloo to the city planning and zoning commission through July 2023 and Chris Retterath to the parks and recreation board through July 2021.

• Set bid opening time for the south water tower coating project at 1:30 p.m. July 30.

Other business

The council approved the following:

• Meeting as the board of adjustment, set a date for a July 16 hearing for the following requests: conditional use permit from Tammy Miller to operate a family residential child care center in her home at 506 W. Birch Ave.; front-yard variance of 20 feet instead of 25 feet and a backyard variance of 18 feet instead of 25 feet from Boyd Reimnitz to construct a single-family home in the 200 block of W. 15th Ave.; conditional use permit from Dustin and Nichole Sullivan to build a facility to provide outside commercial storage, outside storage and a self-service storage facility at 40822 256th St.; a sideyard variance of 1-foot instead of 3 feet to build a detached garage at 508 E. Sixth Ave.

• Approved resolution R2018-33: A plat of Lot 1 of Peters Addition in the Southwest 1/4 Of Section 10, T 103 N, R 60 W of the 5th P.M., City Of Mitchell; and resolution 2018-34: A plat of Lot 2-B, a subdivision of Lots 1 and 2 of Skyline Estates In the south 100 Acres In the northwest 1/4 pf Section 14, T 103 N, R 60 W of the 5th P.M., Davison County, South Dakota.