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The Salmon City Council conducted two public hearings during its August 4 meeting however there was no public response to either.

The first hearing provided an opportunity for the public to comment on the city’s proposed $3,638,980 budget for fiscal year 2011-12. The second hearing asked for public comments on a proposed sale of city owned property on Idaho Avenue.

The hearings were officially opened at 6:15 PM then soon closed due to no input on either topic.

The council approved a request for an overnight camp trailer on Island Park August 6th prior to the August 7th annual Blues, Brews and Barbeque event. The purpose for making an exception to the no campers rule was for overnight protection of all the equipment in place for the next day.

During the council’s Roundtable discussion councilman Jim Baker asked his fellow council members to remember that when a citizen offers a comment during public comment periods it should be accepted as such and not become an invitation for argument. He said that each councilman had to know when he took office that there would be opposing views. Baker said those opposing viewpoints need to come forward in an acceptable form. “I would encourage each one of us to sit back and be able to listen to what they have to say because that input, the opposing input, is how we make our decisions.” He said council decisions should be discussed openly and made in accordance with the Open Meeting law. Baker went on to say, “I’d ask each one of us to put the combat boots aside and in the future let’s treat the citizens, when they come to us with opposing views or supportive views, with equal courtesy. I think that’s our goal and our duty.”

He pointed out that whether citizens are residents living within city limits or outside city limits, all are members of this community.

Baker also presented a list of contributions made by the county to the city. The list was compiled by former Lemhi County Commissioner Louie Demick who served on the county board from 1977 to 1989. Baker said it is apparent that during those years the county and city participated jointly in many projects such as the acreage purchased at that time for the cemetery, county work on the city’s main water line, equipment purchases made by the county for the city, the original $75,000 debt payment paid by the county for the swimming pool property and the county’s payment of wages in 1990-91 for the cemetery sexton. Baker said Demick wanted the past contributions pointed out to the council as it considers raising cemetery fees for county residents.

Other Roundtable topics included Bud Bartlett’s compliment on Main Street cleanliness thanks to the new street sweeper recently purchased by the city.

Councilman Jim Kluesner inquired about the name change of Cavaness Park and the height of the railing being constructed on the Main Street Bridge. It was explained that when the Cavaness family donated the land to the city it was with the wish the family name not be used. As to the railing height Mayor John Miller said the first railing was six feet tall and was meant to protect bicycle riders. That height has been reduced to 42 inches for protection of pedestrians since bicyclists can now use the Pedestrian Bridge. Miller said the bottom line is, the bridge belongs to the state and is subject to state codes.

City Attorney John McKinney asked the council to set an executive session for its August 18 meeting to address questions being posed by Deputy Clerk Mary Benton. McKinney also recommended new and separate job descriptions be developed for the positions of City Administrator and City Clerk. The final, approved job descriptions would be placed on the agenda and adopted in open session.

The next meeting of the Salmon City Council will be August 18th at 6PM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room.

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