A city council that routinely votes 3-2 on issues saw that split swing the other way with one council member's resignation and another's absence.
The Pequot Lakes City Council meeting turned contentious on two occasions Tuesday, July 3, when mayor Nancy Adams was without allies Dave Sjoblad and Cathy Malecha.
Sjoblad missed the council meeting for a funeral, and Malecha resigned her position and wasn't present.
A vote to appoint a council member to the vacant position and a vote to change the city's sign ordinance turned heated.
Council member Tom Ryan immediately asked to move the city clerk's report from the end to the beginning of the agenda. Malecha's resignation was part of the city clerk's report, and after the three council members accepted the resignation, Ryan moved to appoint Ryan Buell to the position. His ally, Jerry Akerson, seconded that motion.
Adams said she believed the city needed to advertise the position and open it to interested people before making an appointment through the end of this year. Malecha's seat will be on the November general election ballot along with Ryan's seat.
"I don't think we can just appoint without seeing who's interested first," Adams said.
City clerk Sandy Peine said the League of Minnesota Cities had indicated the city should announce the open council seat to the public before appointing someone so an appointment didn't appear preconceived.
Adams also said she had talked to Jenkins mayor Jon Lubke about a council seat that city recently filled after a resignation, and he said Jenkins followed the League of Minnesota Cities procedure.
Ryan said he stood by his motion and he repeatedly called for a vote.
Resident Tom Adams, the mayor's husband, spoke up from the audience, saying the appointment of Buell wasn't on the agenda. Ryan repeatedly said his motion wasn't out of order. Nancy Adams repeatedly called the motion out of order because appointing a council person wasn't on the agenda.
"We're good. He's a good guy," Akerson said.
"That's not the point," Nancy Adams said. "The point is that's not the appropriate way to do this."
Peine pointed out that the resolution the three council members had already adopted to accept Malecha's resignation also stated the city would accept letters of interest from residents.
Ryan and Akerson eventually removed their motion, and they and the mayor agreed to accept letters of interest and to make a decision on whom to appoint at the August meeting.
Buell owns Pequot Lakes Chiropractic and Sports Injury Center.
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