A new police officer, dog ordinances, CodeRed minutes and a retiring city attorney were all topics last week at the Toledo City Council meeting.
Nancy Burk, Toledo city attorney, will be resigning from her position this summer. Burk, who wasn't in attendance at the May 27 meeting, sent Mayor Dave Svoboda a letter and he read it to the city council.
"Dear Dave, please accept this letter as my resignation as the attorney for the City of Toledo," Svoboda said. "Due to personal life decisions, I am closing my office and will no longer practice law in Toledo. I expect to continue to serve the City of Toledo until Aug. 1, 2013. This should give the city ample time to find another attorney to represent the city. I will work with my replacement to assist him or her to make the transition as smooth as possible. Yours very truly, Nancy L. Burk."
Burk's resignation was unanimously accepted with a 4-0 vote. Council Member Travis Mullen wasn't in attendance last week.
The city council briefly discussed how to find its next city attorney. The council gave Svoboda direction to talk to other local attorneys to see if anyone is interested.
In other city news, the Toledo City Council hired a new police officer last week. The Community Protection Committee recommended hiring Dereck Fangman as the new officer to replace Joe McMillen, who accepted a job in Grinnell in April.
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Fangman is a non-certified officer, so he will be sent to the short academy at Hawkeye Community College. Fangman spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and has an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice.
"We had quite a few applications and we ended up having four interviews," Council Member "Elmer" Skip Wilson said. "All four of them were really good. We came down to where we would recommend the hiring of Dereck Fangman.
"The other three were really good, too," he said. "It was hard to decide who we were going to go with. He was impressive."
Last week's meeting drew some local residents, who were there to speak about possible dog ordinances.The Community Protection Committee members said they haven't had much time to do any changes to the Animal Protection and Control Ordinance. The residents at the meeting voiced concerns regarding banning certain dog breeds, but instead they'd like to see irresponsible dog owners punished instead. City council members assured the residents, saying they are not looking into banning breeds, but simply trying to revise the current ordinance.
Another topic that came up again was the CodeRed minutes. City Clerk Julie Wilkerson reported the Iowa Juvenile Home wants to opt out of CodeRed and will not burden any of the city's cost that goes toward CodeRed. The majority of the city's CodeRed minutes have been used for runaways from the juvenile home.
"The only problem is it only takes one time for one of those kids to walk into somebody's house," Toledo Police Chief Bob Kendall said. "Had they known better, they would have locked their door. That's what I'm concerned about. When we get called, we have to get involved."
The city council and Kendall agreed that the city has a responsibility to inform its residents if a runaway escapes from the juvenile home. They agreed that if the juvenile home calls for assistance, the city will call CodeRed once to alert its residents.
"If they're going to call for assistance from our department, then we're going to do things our way," Kendall said. "We have our own rules that we have to do things by."
In other news, Public Works Director Mark Zmolek gave the city council an update. He said Toledo Heights Park is flooded after the days of rainfall, but the city employees will begin work on the park's restroom soon. Zmolek also told the council that the city may have to fix 400 feet of water line in front of Thy's Automotive. The estimated cost for the project is $5,000 and that doesn't include labor. Also the city may need to fix 12 spots on streets throughout the city and the city employees need new shirts to meet OSHA requirements.
The city approved two building permits last week. One was for Rose Wiese, who will be building a 6-foot by 14-foot attached bathroom. The other was for Scott Pansegrau, who will be building a 30-by-36 garage.
The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. June 10. The city council will be meeting at 5:30 p.m. on June 24 prior to the regular meeting to discuss the Reinig Center.