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Vacant City Council Seat To Be Filled By Special Election

Sheldon, Iowa — The Sheldon City Council opted to put the empty council seat up for a vote of Sheldon’s citizens during their meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The council had originally expressed their desire to fill the empty at-large council seat by appointing someone to fill the position. The seat was left vacant when former councilman Greg Geels resigned to accept appointment as Sheldon’s mayor. A petition was accepted at Wednesday’s meeting, bearing the signatures of 37 Sheldon citizens, which forces the mayor’s position to go to a special election next month. Councilman Brad Hindt suggested the at-large council seat be filled during that same special election, pointing out that if the council appoints a council member, another petition could force a second special election to fill the council seat. The council then voted unanimously to have both the mayor’s position and the empty council seat on the same special election. Geels will remain as Sheldon’s mayor until after the special election.

The Council heard from Rod Fonkert, the agent of the owner of the H.C.Lane building in downtown Sheldon. At their regular meeting two weeks ago, the council had instructed Public Works Director Todd Uhl to block off the alley behind the Lane building, as well as the parking lot of the adjacent building to the south, the former Eagles building, for a period of two weeks. Fonkert and the Lane building’s owner were also advised to correct the problems with the structure’s south wall, which engineers had said was in danger of collapse. Fonkert told the council that L&K Construction had shored up the back wall of the building to guarantee that wall wouldn’t collapse. The council voted to open the alley behind the building once Lane’s engineer, Wayne Schlotfeldt provides confirmation to the city that the collapse risk has been corrected.

The council’s agenda called for them to review the draft ordinances and set a public hearing and first readings, as well as consider and adopt a revenue purpose statement for the use or expenditure of revenues from the proposed gas and electric franchise with MidAmerican Energy. The council elected to table that item until the next meeting to allow for more complete revenue estimates to be compiled.