“I have no interest being on Parks and Recreation,” said council member Rick Davis at the start of a special meeting held June 5. The meeting was held before June’s regular council meeting to approve committee and commission appointments. A few members of the council were not so quick to vote in favor of the appointments made by Mayor Paul Isakson.
Davis went to say, “For what reason I am off of the finance committee, I really do not know. I do not need to be the chairman, but I do believe being a CPA I should still be on the finance committee.” Isakson replied, “I just tried to change things up to get everybody spread out. Over time I would like to get everybody on every different committee.”
Council member Kristin Vickers shared her concern saying, “I just had a question about Tim (Strohbusch) being president two years back to back. This is my twelfth year and I have been president once.”
Isakson responded to Vickers’s concern by saying he did not know the protocol. “The protocol in the past was the previous mayors, whether it was Harvey, Mike or Kay, talked to the council people before they took us off of committees or added us to committees. I would have appreciated that,” said Vickers.
Isakson said he would remember that for next time. “I am kind of new to this and I left the committees the same when I came on last spring.” Vickers explained that the title of Council President used to rotate in the past.
“I do not want to serve on the parks committee at all,” Davis stated once again. He explained that he is not available during the time that committee meets. “I will stay on the Public Works committee as I do have some expertise on what goes on there, but I have no interests in the Parks committee.”
Isakson looked toward the city clerk and asked, “Can this be changed at a later date?” Clerk Patty Bjorklund nodded her head yes.
Vickers next brought up the question of whether it would be a conflict of interest for Strohbusch to be on the Public Safety committee. Strohbusch is not only a City Council member in Amery, but he is also the Chief of Police in Clear Lake.
“He works hand in hand with Amery and the court here, is there any conflict that way? He works with the Amery officers as a police chief. If you have to do discipline there, would that be a conflict? It would be not good for you or the city,” said Vickers.
Strohbusch responded, “You have been on Public Safety for how many years, has anything ever come up that would seem like a conflict for me?” Vickers said, “If it comes to something with union it might be.” Strohbusch answered back, “I guess if it becomes that big of a deal I could step away, but I do not think it has ever been that big of an issue. I agree with Paul that it is good to give everybody the experience of being on different committees.”
Vickers responded, “Rick (Davis) and I have been on all of the committees. Julie has been here awhile, she has been on them too.”
“I have been on Parks and Rec and Public Works,” said Strohbusch twice. He then said, “I look forward to something a little different.”
“I would make a recommendation to approve the committee assignments with the one exception of Kristin being the Council President in lieu of myself,” said Strohbusch. Vickers then said, “You do not need to make me Council President. I don’t know if someone else wants it?”
“You are more than welcome,” said Isakson, offering the title to Vickers. While Vickers questioned if any other council members would like a chance to be Council President, Strohbusch said, “Hold on- you wanted it.” Vickers responded, “All I said was that I had been President once in 12 years.” Strohbusch said, “It is such a low impact job.” He then asked to strike his change and for the board to approve the assignments as they stood. “I’ll second that,” said Council Member Julie Riemenschneider.
Then for the third time, Davis had to express that he wanted to be removed from the Parks and Recs Committee. “If we approve this as it is now, can I consult with you during the week, make some changes and amend them next week?” asked Isakson to Bjorklund. “It is up to the council,” she responded. Isakson said, “If you make a motion to approve as they are I will-” He was then interrupted by Strohbusch who said, “You can make changes as you see fit. You are the mayor.”
Council Member Sarah Flanum pointed out some recent changes to the Library Board that should be made, and with that, committee assignments were approved.