Opinion

Got a Minute

As the year comes to an end, it seems almost hurtful as the time we anticipated the holiday season has now come and gone.

Posted on 12/28/13

By Lee Coleman

Eleven months will now have to pass before the anticipation returns and the crescendo of the 2014 holiday season is back in earnest. We may just might need the rest.

Before Christmas, the Langdon city commissioners accepted the transfer of ownership of Boyd Block from the Cavalier County Job Development Authority. The transfer had been expected but many thought the city would have moved earlier.

Recently, the commissioners had promised a full discussion on the issue before the end of the year when they had a full commission board present at a meeting. Last Monday, there was a full commission present and the issue came up in the form of new business on the agenda.

There wasn’t any discussion. President Chuck Downs verified the insurance was in order and commissioner Garrett Freier made sure the transfer would not include any debt from the CCJDA. CCJDA executive director Shannon Duerr made a very brief comment and boom!

The transfer was approved unanimously with barely five minutes of verbiage being exchanged. Go figure.

Interestingly, during unfinished business, Downs called for a special meeting to be held to discuss “wages”. For me, it was an attention grabber for a couple of reasons.

First off, what does “wages” mean? I know. Pretty self-explanatory right? Not so fast.

If there was going to be something new and exciting happening, it is likely the meeting would have been requested under new business on the agenda. But it was requested and scheduled for Monday, Dec. 30 at 6 p.m. under unfinished business.

What does that mean? Perhaps to address a previous wage issue? Stay with me.

As you may recall, city employees were given an across the board salary increase as part of the new budget for 2014. Managers and department heads received $150 more while salaried employees received $100 more a month. Hourly employees received 50 cents an hour more.

That, of course, was great news for city staff. But here came a potential problem. Then-commissioner Dennis Flaten made the motion to approve the salary increases only if taxes were raised to fund the new expenditures. The motion passed as such.

At the next commission meeting, Flaten, ironically at his last function as a commissioner, brought attention to the minutes from the previous meeting stating the motion to approve the increases were recorded without the verbiage of raising taxes.

Before it was over, Downs asked the matter be reviewed by city attorney Cameron Sillers and his staff for any possible violations or non-adherance to Roberts Rules of meetings.

The meeting wil be Monday night at City Hall at 6 p.m.

Welcome 2014. We’re off. No need to wait 11 months.

Coleman is the editor of the Republican and can be contacted at leecoleman88@yahoo.com.