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Park superintendent takes on city manager role

POLSON — Polson Parks Superintendent Karen Sargeant was appointed interim city manager at the May 6 Polson City Commission meeting. 

Sargeant’s 90-day appointment comes in the wake of the non-renewal of Polson City Manager Todd Crossett’s contract in December, 2012. Crossett officially resigned as of April 30.

Other applicants for interim city manager were Ronald Melvin and Dale Gillespie.

Commissioner John Campbell commented that Sargeant had a lot on her plate right now, a new appointment for the fire department, department head as Polson Superintendent of Parks, and spokesperson for law enforcement. He asked if she would be willing to give up some of these positions to take on city manager.

Saying she’s willing to delegate things, Sargeant said the reasons for her letter of interest were the 2014 budget, job descriptions that need completion, projects, and a city manager search. 

“I don’t want the momentum to slow down on any of that,” Sargeant explained. “I just wanted to step in and make sure things keep moving.”

Community member and former city engineer Bob Fulton asked if a $7,388 check to Crossett titled settlement and a $3,000 check to O’Neill Law Office PLLC, was the total settlement in Crossett’s suit against the City of Polson.  

In other business, city commissioners awarded the Phase 1 contract for removal of existing crib, or underpinnings, on the old city docks prior to high water to McCrumb Construction, based on recommendation from the Polson Redevelopment Agency. 

Chair Dorene Parise explained the Clean-up, Green-up Day on May 18. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. at Riverside Park for coffee and cookies and hit “hot spots” in the community, Parise said. Participants are eligible for a drawing for prizes.

Commissioners who have the most workers in their ward will win the traveling trophy.  

The commission also waived Polson’s open container law and extended curfew for Festivals on the Flathead Blues Festival on Aug. 16-18.

Resolution No. 1044 was approved by the commission. It adopted by reference the Montana Local Government Records Retention schedule. 

Heart and Soul volunteer John Peregoy, Ph.D., said Heart and Soul has secured funding for a multi-cultural diversity training by Brian McNeel from Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., and offered the City of Polson eight spots free of charge.

Mayor Pat DeVries said Heart and Soul would like half the spots to go to employees and half to commissioners. Polson Police Chief Wade Nash will send three people, also.      

DeVries adjourned the meeting, and the commissioners went into executive session for a personnel issue.

The next city commission meeting will be held May 20 at 7 p.m. 

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