City council special meeting

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By Shelia Tomkins

At a special noon meeting on Monday, April 27, the Gutttenberg city council set a public hearing on a proposed federal loan for the local hospital and heard the mayor present a new policy for citizen complaints.

At the council table were Mayor Bill Frommelt, City Manager Denise Schneider, and councilmembers Mick Pierce, Austin Greve, Fred Schaub, and Jane Parker; Virginia Saeugling participated via teleconference.

Hospital loan

The council set Monday, May 11, as a public hearing for a proposal for the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital to participate in the Small Business Association's paycheck protection program and obtain a forgivable loan in an amount not to exceed $1,300,000. The program is part of the federal government's CARES Act for coronavirus aid, relief and economic security.

Complaint policy

Mayor Frommelt presented a new policy for citizen complaints and concerns that in the past may have been addressed directly to council members, which he said results in a less efficient handling of matters. "Council members expend an inordinate amount of time in the complaint process that the city staff will handle anyway," he noted. The new policy provides that:

•Specific complaints should first be directed to the city office staff or police department.

•A general complain (i.e. about city policy or a concern that affects more than one person) should be brought before the city council.

•Complaints should include the name, address, phone number and details in order for it to be properly handled.

"If the complaint is not handled adequately and in a reasonable time frame as indicated by the city staff, the complaint could then be directed to a council member or appropriate authority," said the mayor.

"It is difficult at times to address legitimate issues because of lack of details or the general nature of the concern. This process should help resolve legitimate issues and should also free the council members of unnecessary phone calls," said the mayor. 

Other business

In other business, discussion was held on concerns about outdoor city employees who appeared not to be social distancing; docks and repairs at the south marina; compliments for the new fencing around the pool and city yard; signage at the yard waste dump specifying the site is only for city residents, and  the policy for tree removal between sidewalks and curbs.

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