Council seats Hansen as newest member

 

Five candidates seek vacant position

By Fred Arnold Telescope publisher Belleville Telescope

Tiffany Hansen of Belleville was sworn in on Monday as the newest member of the Belleville City Council.

Hansen’s road to the seat however was not unanimously supported by fellow council members.

In all, five people sought appointment to the position vacated by Melissa VanMeter in May. Following a question and answer session of each five–Hansen, Kelly Collard, Andrea Fischer, Adam Robertson and Skyler Tuxhorn council members voted by secret ballot who they wanted in the vacancy.

On the first vote there was a tie between the top two candidates. Hansen was selected on the second ballot.

Initially, some on the city council wanted to go into executive session to discuss the council opening. That action, though, would have been illegal as that does not constitute a reason for closed door session.

According to Belleville City Attorney Rachel Zenger, Hansen will hold the position for the remainder of the original term, which will be April 2016. At that time she can elect to run again or step away from the seat.

Following the appointment councilman Doane Sells said he was happy to see so many young people seek the open position.

“I really appreciate the younger people showing interest in serving on the council. They have a whole different perspective and view of things, I sure hope their interest will continue,” he said.

In other business before the council: •Granted property owners at 1003 N Street and 920 M Street until the end of the calendar year to remedy nuisances at both locations.

• Had preliminary discussion regarding the 2016 budget which included tentative plans to increase spending for economic development by $5,500 to $20,500.