FOUR MORE — Mayor John Shevlin receives the oath of office by Conrad City Financial Officer Agnes Fowler, Monday evening before the city council meeting. Shevlin has four more years at the helm. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
Elected officials were sworn into office on Monday evening at the first council meeting of the New Year. Other individuals were appointed or re-appointed to boards and positions.
Mayor John Shevlin was given the oath of office by Agnes Fowler, city finance officer. He won a write-in campaign for a second four years at the helm of the city.
The mayor noted, “It is a pleasure to have the support of the community and the city – there are a lot of great things going on.”
He then administered the oath of office to City Judge Al Farnstrom, an appointed position. Following that he swore in council members Wendy Judisch and Karla Breding. He noted that Judisch, starting her second term on the council, was the first woman to be elected to the council and Breding just the second.
Council members reelected one of their own, veteran and ranking alderman Sandy Syvertson as council chairman, a two-year position. His main duty will be to preside over the council if the mayor is unable to be present at a meeting.
The council, on a recommendation of the library board re-appointed Erin Brenteson to the library board. Colin Vietch was re-appointed to the police commission board.
On the recommendation of Chief Gary Dent, the aldermen moved to hire Scott Holbrook, replacing officer Bill Prince who resigned.
Holbrook is a graduate of Carroll College. At 6-7, he was a lineman on the Fighting Saints championship football team. He is originally from Napa, Idaho. Holbrook will be on board later this month.
Chief Dent, in a report to the council, noted the department received 181 calls in December. In part, there were seven rides home from local taverns, three domestic situations, and three thefts among the calls.
An insurance plan for city employees was finally voted on.
Councilman Wally McHenry, on the insurance committee, said the decision was a long-time in coming and made a motion that the city approve effective July 1, the Mission Health Insurance Plan with a prescription card for current eligible employees.
Current eligible employees will be required to contribute $25 per month towards the prescription coverage. This package is contingent on Montana Municipal Insurance Authority’s (MMIA) acceptance and following a mandated public hearing regarding the permissive levy.
This motion, however, died for not getting a second.
Councilwoman Karla Breding then made a motion to move that the city approve effective July 1, the Mission Health Insurance Plan with prescription card for current eligible employees. Current eligible employees will be required to contribute $25 a month towards the prescription coverage.
This package is contingent on MMIA’s acceptance and following (the) mandated public hearing regarding the permissive levy. This is the recommendation of the insurance committee.
This is the recommendation of the insurance committee. Current eligible employees not electing to take MMIA’s plan may continue to receive the in-lieu of money $225 per month, if they can prove coverage through a different health insurance provider.
McHenry made a second to this motion and it passed on a 4-0 vote of the council.
The mayor said he was thankful for all the work the insurance committee put on this project and added, “This is a step in the right direction to putting city employees on a more level playing field with county and school employees.”
In other business, the city approved a request from the county for two, 48 hours of use, at Norley Hall for election on June 8 and Nov. 2. This was approved by the council on a 4-0 vote.
The next regular council meeting will be on Jan. 19 because the 18th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The council meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in city hall at 411-1/2 S. Main Street.
The public is always invited and encouraged to attend and see your government in action.