2/15/2013 10:57:00 AM New Trier appoints temporary city clerk
by Olivia Detweiler
The New Trier city council appointed Jeavonna Sutherland, who is currently the city treasurer, the interim city clerk at the Feb. 11 meeting. Sutherland is filling this position until the council hires a replacement for Debbie Chavis, who resigned this month as the city clerk following a promotion at her primary job.
The council is not sure when it will hire a replacement, but it plans to advertise and receive applicants for the position by March 1.
The special event permit for Schneetag was approved. The requirements for the permit were a $100 fee and proof of insurance. The insurance is coverage for the whole event, including the 20 game softball tournament.
Council member Patty Brown abstained from voting on the permit since she was an organizer of the event. The vote was four to zero.
Another matter concerning the Schneetag event was the voting that took place last month regarding the donations. It was recorded that the vote was four to zero, but the actual vote was two to zero.
Mayor Melanie Peters said, "At the last meeting, I have to say I didn't realize that two people had abstained. So, I called it all in favor."
After realizing this, the council contacted The League of Minnesota Cities about the vote and whether or not if the motion passed.
Sutherland explained, "When someone abstains, it does not count as voting in favor or not in favor. It's actually removing that vote from the pool. So, three people abstained, leaving a pool of two and both voted in favor."
As a result, the vote was a majority vote and that is what was required to pass the motion.
At last month's meeting, residents and council members had questions concerning NorthfieldWiFi's request to install its Internet service in New Trier. Mayor Peters spoke with NorthfieldWiFi after January's meeting and presented the information she had received from them to council.
Mayor Peters said there would be no cost to the city. NorthfieldWiFi would pay for the electricity it uses and the city would receive a monthly stipend of $1 per foot of the height of the water tower. The installation will consist of five items. Three antennas and a backhaul, which connects the city's network with NorthfieldWiFi's infrastructure, will be installed on the city's water tower. The other item is a data cabinet that will be placed on the ground, outside of the water tower.
Mayor Peters explained that Nate Lyon from NorthfieldWiFi told her that bringing NorthfieldWiFi into New Trier was legal and would not violate any FCC regulations.
The council approved NorthfieldWiFi installing the system, pending the city's attorney looking over the contract.
The council approved the land-use training for all planning commission members and the cap fee of $180.
The online training program is $30 per person or a total of $180 for six or more city officials. By registering six participants and paying the cap, any other city official may attend the training for free. The council agreed it was more beneficial to pay the cap because the training provides information that is valuable for any city official, and the council wanted to meet the requirements for the incentive program which requires paying for five city officials to attend.
The five required participants are a core member of the city council, the chair and one member of the planning commission, the city planner and another city official. If the city completes the training and fulfills the requirement before renewing its insurance policy, the city can save on any land-use related litigation. Mayor Peters pointed out that it is not a reduction on the overall insurance premium.