By Jack Holt
KEMMERER — As the Kemmerer City Council met for its second meeting of the month, the council called the meeting to order before a packed crowd.
Connie McMillan addressed the council with concerns about how people making comments were treated during meetings.
“I think you have the obligation when they [the public] come under visitor comments that they are treated with respect and deserve an answer to the questions they ask you and that doesn’t happen,” she said.
McMillan told the council she would pursue a recall election through state statute 15-4-110 if the council continued to fail to listen to the public.
“I think you six can decide that you’re going to do something and listen to the people of Kemmerer or I think you can resign and you can let someone take your place that will do something,” she said. “I guess the last option that we have is to follow state statute 15-4-110 and have a recall election and have you all removed.”
Concerns were expressed about the event center, and the council was asked about an advisory board for the event center. Hartmann also questioned whether or not the event center had any oversight and mentioned that he felt there was no input from public on events happening at the event center.
Mayor Zem Hopkins explained to Hartmann that there was an advisory board but it was commissioned to figure out how to raise money for the event center and nothing more.
“We had an advisory board to raise money and to figure out how to pay for the event center,” he said. “But right now that is just an advisory board on raising money. It was never an advisory board to operate or run anything.”
Councilman Jim Burnett suggested a community formulated committee board to advise the event center on what events the city should have there.
“I would love to see an advisory board for the event center to give a more wide voice to the community on what would be nice to have there,” he said.
Burnett told Hartmann he’d be the first to nominate Hartmann as the chairman of that board if it comes to fruition but Burnett expressed concern about community involvement in such a committee.
“What it takes is a twice a month involvement, at least, by everyone in this community but right now we don’t have enough volunteers for the boards we do have,” he said.
Burnett also expressed his opposition for the event center in the first place but said that because it was given to the city, Kemmerer had to make it work.
“This [SLTEC] was a gift from the county, which was a gift I opposed when it was being built, but yet we have this gift,” he said. “I opposed it then and I wasn’t even on the council. We didn’t ask for it. Now we have this, the question is, what do we do to make it work?”
The council also listened to concerns about citizens dumping grassclippings into garbage cans that aren’t theirs to which Police Chief Stacy Buck said, if caught, those citizens can be charged with a crime as it’s considered a theft of services.
During the second reading of the sanitation ordinances process, councilman Bobby Reetz suggested that the city add wording to the ordinance making such dumping illegal.
“I think it would be a perfect time to bring up the unauthorized dumping,” he said. “I mean I think it’s terrible that people do that and I think we need something specific on that.”
The council agreed that it was a good suggestion and agreed to have it in place for the third reading. The ordinance was also passed on second reading.
Resolution 2015-704 on planning to promote employment of Wyoming resident design firms was also unanimously passed by the council, as was a memorandum of understanding with the Lincoln County Library for the Journey Stories Smithsonian Exhibit. The six-week exhibit will be coming to Kemmerer in late spring and the library will be offering suggestions on books that tie-in to the exhibit.
Mayor Hopkins brought up the question of removing an appointee to the Fossil Basin Promotion Board.
“We have an employee that no longer works for the city and that employee was appointed by this council to the promotion board,” he said. “Do we want that person to continue in that position?”
Councilman Burnett suggested that before the council even consider that, they should ask that person if they’d like to continue on the board.
The appointee, April Corwin, expressed her desire to continue on the board.
“I have a term that continues to the end of December,” she said. “I have not asked to be removed from Fossil Basin Promotion Board.”
The council made no motion otherwise and Corwin will continue in her position on the board.
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