Conrad retains Mayor Judisch, I-O Editor requests meetings be moved back to Mondays

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

In what many thought would be a close race for the city leadership, turned out to be a walk in the park for Incumbent Wendy Judisch.

The mayor faced a challenge from Edward Gierke for another four-year term of office.

In Ward 1, Judisch won by a margin of 270-155. Also in Ward 1, Councilman Drew Lesnik, running unopposed for a two-year term drew 354 votes. Councilwoman Karla Breding, also running unopposed for a four-year term received 374 votes. Of the total of the 829 registered voters, 440 returned their mail-in ballots for a 53 percent turnout.

Scott Arvidson received 12 write-in votes and Ted Kronebusch, one.

In Ward 2, of the 615 registered voters, 312 returned their ballots for a 51 percent turnout.

Gierke received 93 votes and Judisch received 195. The total from the two Wards was 465 for Judisch and 248 for Gierke, a difference of 217 votes.

Also out of Ward 2, there will be a new councilman. Incumbent Rick Moss chose not to run for re-election. Daniel Jones stepped up to run for the two-year unexpired term and was not challenged. He received 253 votes.

Alderman Ron Widhalm ran unopposed for a four year term and pulled in 293 votes.

Of the total 1,444 registered voters, 752 returned their ballots for a turnout percentage of 52 percent.

In other news, out of the regular Tuesday council meeting, Independent-Observer Editor Buck Traxler made a presentation and presented a list of 30 people, including two former council members, to move the regular meeting of the council back to Mondays instead of the present meeting on Tuesday.

It was noted by the 30 people who signed the letter, that it was “For better and more timely communication of city business to the public that we support the recommendation to return the regular city council meeting to Monday evenings. By being on Monday, this will allow adequate time for the I-O to report on a more current and accurate basis.”

Traxler and the signers of the partition noted that the move would benefit everyone’s interests and improve participation of the public with the city council.

Mayor Judisch took a copy of the letter, saying she would make copies for the aldermen. No comment or action was taken at this time; the request will be taken under advisement.

Fire Chief Kevin Moritz and Conrad Volunteer Relief Association Secretary Shawn Sullivan were on hand to discuss the raising of the retirement amount from $75 to 100 per month.

The retirement amount would be effective on Jan. 1, 2014 and will increase $5 per year for the next 10 years. By the end of 10 years, the retirement per fireman would be $150.

The reason for doing the $5 per year over a 10 year period is to allow the mayor and council enough time in advance to prepare for the increase. The pension has been stuck on $75 for 30 years. Presently there are 28 firemen receiving a pension for $2,100 a month.

The council moved on a 4-0 vote to raise the retirement for the Relief Association.

There were five building permits approved, two reroof projects at 607 S. Delaware and 102 S. Montana, a fence at 117 2nd Ave. N, new windows at 213 S. Wisconsin and a new fence and windows at 107 S. Montana.

Cheryl Curry from the Port Authority (PA) was on hand to give a monthly report.

She noted that the Neighborhood Stabilization project, the Brady house, is “moving ever so slowly toward closing.” Curry said there were a couple of hoops to jump through due to various rules from lending agencies and program rules.

The Port Authority is using Dan Brown’s senior drafting students to help with plan modification on the Port’s next project which will be constructed next spring on Maryland St. The PA has been asked to take the lead on marketing lots for the East Side Industrial Park.

Value Added Agriculture, a company that is in the pea processing business is still looking for a location and still likes Conrad.

Curry said, “We have visited a potential site and they will be back in touch.”

The PA has had an inquiry in regards to loan availability for a business purchase. The PA is working with the Stockman Bank on this potential loan request.

The application for the CDBG-ED planning grant for a Rail Development study was approved for $10,000.

Curry is still waiting for the contract between the county and state to be finalized and then can sign a contract with the selected firm

Because of the dollar amount, the study can be done by phone through the winter and is projected to complete by spring.

Chief Gary Dent, in his report, said there were 172 calls received by the CPD in October. In part, there were four thefts and four arrests of suspects made. Three businesses were found open, 11 traffic citations were issued, there were nine assists given to the ambulance crew and PCSO, two cases of vandalism and two arrests made.

A request by (Tim) Salois Construction to waive the water system development fee on the Rauscher house on 2nd Ave. N. was approved.

On a vote of 4-0 a motion passed to approve the Patrick Heinen electrical waiver at the East Side Industrial Park.

A second reading of Ord.-407, the changing for ward boundaries was read during a public hearing process. There were no oral or written public comments.

The ordinance may be read at the city office during normal working hours by interested individuals. It is suggested you call ahead so they can have it ready for you.

City offices will be closed the day after Thanksgiving and will close four hours early on Christmas Eve.

The city council has their regular meeting on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. in city hall at 413 S. Main Street.

The public is always welcomed and encouraged to attend and get swept up by the bustling civics-in-action.