Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 19, 2014

Riverside City Administrator has summer plans

New event targets people of all ages and does not conflict with other events
By Mary Zielinski | Feb 26, 2013

RIVERSIDE — In an effort to provide more events in Riverside, City Administrator/Clerk Rusty Rogerson outlined tentative plans for everything from music and food to a flea market and craft show during a council meeting on Feb. 18.  The goal is develop an event for the entire family (and all ages) that will not conflict with any other Riverside events.
Council members Nathan Kasdorf and Christine Kirkwood voiced concerns about volunteers needed, but Rogerson said he would take care of the details.
Kirkwood said she wanted a work session to discuss it. The council did approve it, voting  4-1 to have Rogerson proceed with the possible May 18 event.  Members noted Rogerson will work with the Washington County Extension Service and possibly the YMCA to provide summer youth activities.    Kirkwood cast the sole opposition vote.
Once more, the issue of performance evaluation of Rogerson was on the agenda, requested by council member Bob Schneider.  City Attorney Leslie Lamping was present, as requested by Kirkwood who said she wanted to have the performance discussion in a work session “to iron things out.”
Rogerson said he did not want his performance reviewed at a work session, stressing he wants to respond in an open council session to an e-mail sent by Kirkwood to council members saying she has concerns about his performance.
“I want to hear those concerns and it’s been a continual roadblock,” he said, noting he had asked City Attorney Leslie Lamping to be present at the Feb. 19 meeting so all could openly discuss those concerns.  Kirkwood had removed the item from the Jan. 24 meeting agenda, saying she wanted the city attorney present.
Rogerson distributed copies of the city administer job description from the city’s code of ordinances. Kirkwood said her biggest concern is that the council doesn’t have an evaluation process set up. Rogerson noted again his performance review, which should have been done Feb. 16, is a separate issue from his wish (and right) to address concerns in the Kirkwood e-mail.
Schneider and council member Ralph Schnoebelen each noted Kirkwood has resisted having the discussion on the agenda for several meetings. And both also said they are impressed with Rogerson’s performance.
“I didn’t want a city administrator, but in retrospect it’s the best thing we’ve done to move the city forward,” said Schneider.
Schnoebelen said while he wasn’t in favor of hiring a city administrator, he now sees the wisdom of the idea proposed by council member Kevin Kiene.
During citizen time Jeff Showalter of Stardust Radio and a Riverside resident said he has heard “vicious rumors that cost me lost income” about motives behind his work video recording council meetings. Michelle Ruess thanked those who came to the Midwest
Military Outreach benefit at Murphy’s Bar & Grill and spoke in support of Showalter’s efforts. Schneider  said he had heard numerous people in the community saying how much they appreciated seeing council meetings on the Internet.
Paula Walton updated the council on the Community Center, notin results of the community survey show 80 percent of the respondents want the center. She added noted the committee received three responses to their Request for Proposals (RFP) for a feasibility study.
In other business, the council:
•approved advertising  vacancies on the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) and Variance committees, noting the resignation of P & Z member Jim Leyden, effective February 10, who served since 2007. Rogerson presented an application form he created using a form from the League of Cities. Kirkwood objected to the request for references;
•approved hiring RDG, planning and design firm, of Des Moines to do a comprehensive plan for the city at a cost of no more than $55,000;
•received copies of the 2006 resolution authorizing the city manager to purchase items up to $5,000 before coming to the council for approval. Council members Kasdorf and Kirkwood said they should have been notified about this. Rogerson said he learned of it by reading minutes, which they can and should do as well;
•received copies of a resolution passed in February 2006 that council members should be paid $35 for work sessions. Kasdorf noted that some work sessions are only five minutes, others last over two hours. Members said they will decide meeting by meeting as to whether they are paid;
•approved keeping gthe spending limit for the mayor at $3,000;
•approved having Jacob Spratt of the East Central Iowa Council of Governments (ECICOG) Rehab Homes Program handle the cities residential improvement grants;
•approved purchasing a third pump from Electric Pump (EC), as recommended by Water and Wastewater Supervisor Kevin Engel at a cost of $32,995;
•agreed persons designated to sign checks stay as Rogerson, Young, Poch and Schnoebelen;
•heard request for donations from Highland’s Post-Prom organizers, but took no action, noting that in the past they have made individual donations;
•referred Duwa’s Variance Request to the Board of Adjustment;
•heard annual report presentation by Riverside Fire Department (RFD)chief Dan Striegel and Chad Smothers, Deputy Chief;answering emergency calls. Streigel sa Rogerson asked if the RFD would be interested in handling all the building and site maintenance expenditures instead of going through the city office to pay bills.Striegel said, “I’m all for that”;
•approved Poch as its representative to  Washington County Emergency Management, with Kasdorf as alternate; and
•learned Rogerson and Young have been worked with residents to get  unpaid water bills resolved and have reduced the amount from $12,000 to less than $6,400;

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