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Mayor bristles at questions about tabled ordinance PDF Print E-mail
Written by Kristyn Halbig Ziehm   
Wednesday, 03 May 2017 20:20

He calls motivation for questions about board appointments ‘disgusting’

It was expected to be a simple matter before the Common Council Tuesday — an initial review of a proposed ordinance change that was to be tabled until May 16. 

But after a resident questioned the reasons for the change, which dealt with membership on the city’s Design Review Board,  Mayor Tom Mlada became upset at what he characterized as a challenge to his character, saying it was “really disheartening and disgusting to me.”

“I’m tired of it,” he said. “I pour myself into this job.”

If people have questions about his appointments or initiatives, he said, “how about the courtesy of a phone call to ask about it.”

The proposed ordinance change would define the membership of the city’s Design Review Board — the city engineer, a representative of the police or fire department and three people appointed by the mayor. One of those three may live outside the city, the proposed ordinance said, and one could be a citizen of another country.

Kim Haskell, 767 W. Grand Ave., said she was asked by people on her Facebook page to question the ordinance because the language “seemed specific.”

“The concern is was there already someone in mind (to fill the positions),” she said. 

People are worried the mayor may be considering a developer, Haskell said, adding that could constitute a conflict of interest.”

Mlada noted that officials are working on the wording of the proposed ordinance and thus the matter was being tabled. He said it was as a bookkeeping matter caught as the city works to recodify its ordinances.

“I did not design that change with a person in mind,” Mlada said, particularly not a contractor or developer, as people have intimated.

His appointments are always made with the intention of allowing for a broad cross-section of ideas, with an eye for a person’s qualifications, Mlada said.

“To suggest I appoint anyone for any other reason is insulting to me and insulting to them,” he said.

He asked residents and the council for their trust, saying, “After five years, I think I’ve earned it.”

City Attorney Eric Eberhardt noted that the Design Review Board is an advisory body that doesn’t make final decisions on any matter. 

There’s a potential for a conflict of interest, with virtually every member of the city’s committees and boards, he added, and these issues can be dealt with as they arise.

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