The Superior Express -

Peterson takes oath as Superior's latest mayor: pool closure stands

 

Monday evening, at the opening of the Superior City Council meeting, Sonia Schmidt resigned as mayor and announced Chris Peterson, as council president, would replace her as mayor. Above, Schmidt (left) watches as Peterson reads the oath of office and is sworn in a mayor.

As expected leadership of the City of Superior government changed hands Monday night.

While the meeting was conducted virtually, Sonia Schmidt, Chris Peterson and Jan Diehl, city clerk, were among those meeting in the city council chamber.

Mayor Schmidt followed the normal procedure for opening the meeting and moved straight to the regular agenda. The first item to be considered was the submission of her resignation.

Mayor Schmidt said the operation of the city council during her term of administration had been an example of democracy in action. While members had their disagreements, they had come together to operate as a team. She said much had been accomplished and noted the things she wanted to accomplish had been accomplished and it was now time to step down.

The resignation was accepted by the council. As set forth by state law, upon the absence of the mayor the president of the city council automatically advanced to the position. As council president, Chris Peterson took the oath of office. He is eligible to complete the Mayor Schmidt's term which will end in December of 2022.

With Peterson's advancement to the office of mayor, his former position as first ward city council representative was declared vacant. That vacancy will be posted and Mayor Peterson will have the opportunity to appoint a resident of the first ward to complete the term which expires this coming February. At the general election, voters will have the opportunity to elect a member to the full four-year term. Prior to the mayor's resignation, Peterson was the only candidate to file for the first ward council seat.

Members of the council elected James Flores to serve as council president. His term will expire when the council is reorganized in December.

Schmidt's resignation was not the only resignation received Monday. Trevor Lowell, a lineman employed by the city utilities department, also submitted a resignation. A native of Cuba, Kan., he is leaving the Superior Utilities to accept a position with the Belleville utilities.

Two people were hired Monday evening.

Joseph Gilbert will be joining the sewer and water department and Travis Rothchild the street department. Gilbert is returning to a position he previously left. Rothchild comes to the city after 20 years employment with the county road department.

The council approved advertising for an officer to fill the vacant police officer position.

Noting the number of people who have resigned city positions, the council approved a plan to become more competitive in the job market by raising the salaries of police officers and electric department workers. The hourly rate paid police officers was raised $2 per hour. Electric department workers will receive a $3 per hour pay boost. The number of electric department workers will be cut from 4 to 3. The police department will be authorized to have four employees.

As it doesn't appear regulators will allow the opening of the Superior Municipal Swimming Pool before July 15, members of the council reaffirmed their earlier decision to not open the pool this year. Action on a park board proposal to create two new pool maintenance positions and Bev Czirr and Tierney Janzen to fill those positions was tabled until more information is obtained from the park board.

Approval was given to use up to $25,000 in sales tax revenue to create a local business stimulus plan. More details will be made public as the plan is finalized but a broad overview was discussed Monday.

About June 1 the city will begin selling gift certificates which must be used at participating local businesses before Jan. 1, 2021. For every two dollars a purchaser invested, the city will contribute $1. For a $25 investment, the purchaser will be allowed to purchase $37.50 from a participating Superior business.

As the next regular meeting of the council conflicts with Memorial Day, the meeting date was changed to Wednesday, May 27.

 

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