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City Council Discusses Zoom Options, Who's On The Bus, And Swearing In Of New Officer

After a few glitches with Zoom, the city council started off with the swearing in of Dillon's newest Police Officer. Officer Bowman is the newest addition to the Dillon Police force.

Officer Aaron Bowman came to Dillon four years ago to attend college at the University of Montana Western. He decided he wanted to take a different path in life and worked as a patrolman and jailor for Beaverhead County. He is a fourth-generation law enforcement.

Next was the approval for the revising the request of distribution of funds for bridge and road safety. The discussion was interrupted with Council Person Rich Wassell asking a question.

13 min mark

"Mr. Mayor was there a delay in getting Zoom up this evening."

Then asking for the record to show that he attempted to join the meeting three times, before the meeting started and someone made a setting change to let him in.

At the 16min 30 sec mark

Discussion of lease of property to Highschool for use of parking lot. Council person Mary Jo O'Rourke brought up the question why lease this ground why not sell it. The reason for leasing the property was in case the city needed the property for future use. The high school did not have the extra money to purchase said property and finding an appraisal on this would be almost impossible.

20 min mark

Request from Jack Eddie to paint a blue line down Montana street and Helena street. Council person Wassell asked if this should be assigned to the street and alley committee. Mayor Klakken stated the requestors wanted to get approval before the winter. Whole discussion can be seen on the video.

40 Min Mark

Hearing on October 13th to discuss new zoning for a agricultural bulk storage classification. Council person Mary Jo O'Rourke asked the question if they would want to revisit this with the active cases of Covid-19.

Council person O' Rourke stated:

"We are here in a room with most people without mask. At least 50 percent."

Southwestern Montana News observed three people not wearing mask. Council person Wassell interjected with the numbers of cases the state had this day, and they should reconsider to a different day as well. Council person Wassell also stated he was dissatisfied with Zoom and he had to wait to be let in, and this is unacceptable. The whole exchange can be seen on included link.

1-hour 7 min mark

The heated discussion of the night approve amendment to council rules of procedure, this is involving the need for a council person's to vote in person, and not via Zoom.

Many council members interpret the law as the only way you can vote via Zoom is if an emergency is declared. When the state moved to phase one it allowed the City Council to use Zoom to hold meetings. After the state moved to phase 2 we were no longer in an emergency state. Many council members see using Zoom now is against the law and a person needs to be in physical attendance to cast a vote.

Council person Graham believes from reading the Attorney Generals guidelines is that it states Zoom should only be used for emergency meetings, and if you are going to hold nonemergency meetings then you need to attend them in person. The only essential meeting then that the City of Dillon should have met for was to approve the budget, and what else is essential to keeping the City of Dillon open. This discussion has a few heated exchanges, between a couple council members. We would recommend you watch this as it does affect the way the City holds meetings and what could be a possible violation of law by holding a Zoom meeting and making votes via Zoom. This gives you a clear unbiased view on what the city is trying to implement and why they want to pass this ordinance.

2-hour 12 min mark

Council Person Russ Schwandt talks about Oct 16th county health board meeting as well as "action a foot" statewide, with health boards having more power to deal with air quality, septic tanks, and water quality. There is legislation coming before the state, and the only opposition is negative impact health boards have had because of COVID.

2-hour 16 min mark

Council person Wassell wants the tree board minutes to show that he attended the meeting. Mayor Klakken as well as Council person O'Rourke stated they did not have the meeting on the bus, and the meeting was held when they got back to council chambers. Council person Wassell wanted to have the minutes show even though he was fallowing the bus in his own car he was at the meeting. Again, this is another problem with using Zoom or calling in on what the definition of a meeting would include. The whole exchange can be seen on the link provided.

Our next scheduled live stream is the City Zoning on 10/13/2020, followed by the County Health Board on 10/16/2020. Be sure to follow us on all our social media platforms, as we have livestreaming, and all the news that is happening in Southwestern Montana.

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