Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The other Douglas council actions

Several people in the audience waiting for the Douglas City Council meeting to start Monday all asked the same question: How many Douglas council members does it take to fix a video camera?

One. As long as the clerk has the remote.
Greg Harvath checks out the camera Monday.

Before the council got going, Clerk Jean Neve noticed the image for the video recording of the meeting wasn't quite right. The camera was trained in on the torso of Mayor Renee Waddell. So council members moved the tables backwards and forwards, trying to get the entire city body in the TV picture. The scene was reminiscent of a Vaudeville act or a great silent movie comedy bit.

Councilman Greg Harvath began to climb up on a chair to fix the camera mounted on the wall, but stopped after warnings from the mayor to remember OSHA laws and insurance costs. So a ladder was brought and Harvath began working on the camera as people below shouted for him to move to the left, to the right and back again. Another great Vaudeville shtick.

Luckily, the clerk found the remote and adjusted the camera so the entire council, not just the mayor's midsection, was recorded for people to watch at home.

Comedic start notwithstanding, the council did tackle many serious issues, including:

• Possible land purchase for a sledding hill:

• Changes to roads around the Blue Star Highway bridge:

Other actions included:

• Honoring with proclamations of appreciation four community members for their contributions: Gerry Bekken, Bill Schumacher, Alexa Urquhart and Tarue Pullen. Gerry Bekken, who has been a fightfighter since 1948 and was post master from 1983-1990, started the tradition of hugging the mayor after receiving the award. He then deadpanned, "Do I get a break on my taxes?"

• Setting trick-or-treat hours from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31. A ghoulish outcry arose when one of the council members suggested changing the candy-seeking hours to Saturday. Some Douglas traditions are not to be tampered with.

• Changing its first meeting in January from Monday, Jan. 2, to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3. City hall is closed Jan. 2 for the holiday.

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