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In a departure from the usual format there were two Roundtable discussions at the January 8 meeting of the Salmon City Council.

The first Roundtable came before newly elected council members were officially seated and the second came after they were duly sworn.

In Round one, Jim Baker relayed questions he is being asked by constituents regarding the tree cutting on Island Park. City Clerk Mary Benton said the city office has also received many calls. She said she spoke with Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt and learned that many of the park’s Cottonwood trees are rotten so they are being trimmed to avoid the safety hazard of limbs falling on park picnic tables or their users.

Baker also asked that the city’s Water Fund be reviewed at the next Finance Team meeting.

Neither Jessie Bender nor Jim Kluesner chose to run for another term therefore the January 8 council meeting was their last. Councilman Jim Bockelman said he was sad to see both of them leaving the council. He said he has grown to respect Jim and will miss him. At the same time he said he is happy to see the new council members and is confident that voters made good choices.

As a former Hockey advocate and volunteer Bockelman said he’s happy to see the Hockey season in full swing. He said that teams from numerous states will be coming to Salmon every weekend from now until the end of February and he is so glad the Salmon volunteer enthusiasts were able to build the rink and get the program going. Bockelman said it was the city that made it possible to obtain the property and expand to the upper public rink. He said Hockey has proven to be a great help to the local economy.

Retiring council member Jessie Bender commented on how nice Island Park looks but said there should have been more communication about the tree trimming project.

Bender also used the Roundtable to say how much she has enjoyed being on the council and how much she will miss it. “This has been a lot of fun and I will miss each of you gentlemen very, very much. I appreciate the camaraderie and the business that we’ve done together.” Bender thanked the council very much and also expressed her dismay over Jim Kluesner’s absence at their last meeting as members of the council.

Councilman Ken Hill congratulated the people of the city of Salmon along with city and county law enforcement personnel and all emergency crews for the professional efforts in getting the mega load through the city, around the corner to Highway 93 and on its way to Montana. He said there were around a thousand people congregated in areas around Idaho Adventures and the Stagecoach Inn parking lot to see the mega load negotiate the corner which it did very slowly and without incident. It was noted that as of that evening, January 8, the monstrous rig was still parked north of Salmon above Gibbonsville awaiting a travel permit from the Montana Department of Transportation.

Mayor Leo Marshall mentioned he has a file of emails received in reference to the recent Predator Derby and that one of the emails asking him to stop the hunt had come all the way from Zurich, Switzerland.

The second Roundtable came after successful incumbent Councilman Jim Baker and newly elected councilmen Rob Jackson and Russ Chinski were sworn into office.

Jackson was one of the Predator Derby organizers. He said city and county law enforcement personnel were very well represented and displayed great professionalism in dealing with the event. He thanked them all for their participation.

Russ Chinski seconded Bockelman’s earlier comments about the Salmon Hockey organization. He is involved in the Hockey program and said it tickles him to talk to people who have come from as far away as Seattle just to play here. He also said he is happy to be on the council and looking forward to the work. He said, “I really believe that this council can do a lot of good things.”

Councilman Fred Waidely ended Roundtable Discussion with a warm welcome to the new council members and a hope they enjoy the work as much as he does.

The next meeting of the Salmon City Council will be January 15 beginning at 6PM in the Salmon Valley Center meeting room.

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