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  • Last modified 291 days ago (Jan. 3, 2018)

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Officials snipe over appointment

Staff writer

County commissioners once again locked horns Friday, this time over a past vote.

Commissioner Dianne Novak, responsible for appointing someone to the county planning and zoning commission upon the expiration of Jeff Bina’s term, moved to appoint Lincolnville resident William Kroupa.

But commissioner Randy Dallke balked, noting that when he had nominated Mike Beneke, who ran against Novak for county commission, for the Marion County Community Economic Development Corporation board, Novak voted against him.

“You voted against me once, so I may vote against you,” Dallke said.

“Is that how you’re going to run this county, to vote in spite?” Novak said.

Commissioner Kent Becker asked whether Novak had contacted Bina to ask if he was willing to serve another term. Bina has been on the commission since 2011 and previously served for three additional years. She said she had not.

At first, neither Dallke nor Becker seconded Novak’s motion.

“Kent, are you really going to do this?” Novak asked.

“I would expect you to have talked to Jeff first,” Becker said.

Nick Kraus, president of the zoning board, argued that Bina should have been consulted.

Kraus said he worried how other board members will react, saying some might resign.

Dallke then seconded the motion and the vote to appoint Kroupa to the commission was unanimous.

Bina, contacted by phone after the meeting, said calling him would have been a courteous thing to do.

“You serve at the will of the commissioners so I was willing to do that,” Bina said. “I have not been contacted by Dianne Novak.”

Planning and zoning staff praised Bina’s work.

“Bina has been an exceptional asset to our board,” Sharon Omstead, interim planning and zoning director, said in an email. “It is unfortunate to lose his experience and pragmatic approach to planning and zoning issues. We appreciate his numerous hours of volunteer service and genuine concern for our county.”

Beneke provoked another disagreement between commissioners when he gave them a $770 statement for rock he has put on his road over the last two years.

“If I’m paid, I will donate it directly to Emergency Medical Services, where I think I’m appreciated,” Beneke said. “If there is no reimbursement, I will grade it back up off the road.”

Beneke then left the commission room.

Becker moved to reimburse, noting that the commission earlier had paid another county resident for rock spread on the road.

Novak argued that commissioners had set a precedent the last time by agreeing to pay for privately spread rock one last time, then insisting it not be done again.

Commissioners voted 2-1, with Novak opposed, to reimburse Beneke.

In other matters, commissioners:

  • Approved a conditional use permit for Pamela and Gerald Unruh to live in a recreational vehicle while building a house on their property;
  • Signed a contract with BG Consultants to begin design of a new transfer station;
  • Voted to schedule a Zoning commission hearing on Wind Energy Conversion Systems, to impose a time limit on all conditional use permits issued before December 2016, and to require the company to apply for a construction permit by April 2020.

Last modified Jan. 3, 2018

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