PHOTO: During the May 6 City Council meeting, Mayor Dena Himes swears in new Councilmember Rory Mesecher to fill the vacant Ward 1 seat. (Photo by Kim Brooks)
By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
During the Monticello City Council meeting on May 6, the Council appointed Rory Mesecher to fill the Ward 1 vacant Council seat. Mesecher was then sworn into office.
The Ward 1 seat has been vacant since March 12, when Reenie Breyer resigned.
Mesecher would also be up for election in November to fill out the remaining two years of Councilmember Breyer’s term.
The Council also approved of the hiring of Brian Hahn as the new Monticello Ambulance Director. Hahn has been a part-time paramedic volunteer with the department, and as worked with the Anamosa and Linn County ambulance services as well.
“I’m looking forward to getting started and find a place to live in Monticello,” commented Hahn to the Council. He said he’s lived in Jones County most of his life and graduated from Anamosa High School.
Herman noted that the contract states the director must live in Monticello.
In sticking with appointments and hiring, the Council also approved of the hiring of a non-certified candidate as a Monticello Police Officer, with a contract agreement to be drafted to include academy costs.
Police Chief Britt Smith said the total cost to attend the police academy could be around $6,000. The officer would be under a four-year contract.
The MPD has had the opening since Dan Jacobs departed to work for the Sheriff’s Department. There was a broad search for the position, with around 30 applicants, some certified and some non-certified. Smith said he was most confident in a non-certified candidate. After a physical agility test, a background search and an interview, Smith said they narrowed the list to five potential candidates.
“Military experience, previous job experience and age all played a factor in our determination,” offered Smith.
Dorene Hoyer, a resident on S. Sycamore Street, spoke to the Council during the open forum with concerns about her basement flooding. She said on the morning of April 17, she had several feet of water in her basement. She said she contacted her landlord and they immediately started pumping water out. Hoyer informed the Council that some of her belongings stored in the basement, as well as her children’s beds, were damaged/destroyed due to the excess water.
Public Works Director Diz Edwards commented that several pumps were working overtime in that part of town due to heavy rains in a short period of time. He said the sewer lines were full from rainwater.
Hoyer said her renter’s insurance does not cover loss of property due to sewer backup.
Herman asked Hoyer to visit with him later this week to see whether the city’s insurance could assist in this type of situation.