Council reprimands administrator

 
The Montgomery City Council took action following a closed meeting Thursday, June 6, reprimanding City Administrator Steve Helget for his handling of a situation involving the police union. 
 
The reprimand, or disapproval of an action, came after a lengthy closed session. The final vote to approve the motion had been tied 2-2, with Mladek and Wencl in favor, Siebsen and Taraba opposed. Mayor Jean Keogh then broke the stalemate with a positive vote.
 
Two earlier motions, (1) to take no action, and (2) enter a written reprimand, both failed for lack of seconds.
 
The council made the following Findings of Fact in this matter: 
“The city administrator stated in a letter dated January 28, 2013, to Len McFarland of the police union that he had investigated the city’s past practices concerning a Montgomery police officer’s overtime claim, and found the city’s past practices did not support the officer’s claim.
 
“In fact, the city administrator had not investigated the city’s past practices in this regard, and upon later investigation, it was determined the officer’s overtime claim was supported by the city’s past practices.”
 
The officer involved in the claim was not identified.
 
City Attorney Tim Warnemunde gave the council the options for taking disciplinary action against the administrator.
 
When asked to comment on the decision, Helget told the Messenger on Monday, “I understand the action the city council took, and I agree with it.”
 
Other Actions:
The council held a regular meeting prior to the closed session, conducting business which included: 
 
—Council had earlier cancelled the June 17 regular meeting. Next meeting is Monday, July 1.
 
—Approved street closings for Kolacky weekend, July 27-28. Community Club president Marc Peterson  and board members would welcome additional volunteers to help with the festival. “Everywhere we go, they know us by our Kolacky Days,” commented Mayor Keogh.
 
— Adopted ordinance establishing electric fanchise between the city and Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative.
 
— Accepted bid from Al Sevcik ($8,288) for re-roofing the grandstand at Memorial Park.
 
— Hired Tom Washa for part time city planner position, and accepted Washa’s resignations from Planning & Zoning Commission and Public Utilities Commission.
 
— Accepted low bid from Ideal Paving, Belle Plaine, for mill and overlaying two city blocks and some bituminous patching ($37,449).