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Morrissette picked for council president

In the end, there was no contest for City Council president.

At their April 15 re-organizational meeting, the council postponed electing a president because it didn't appear that either of the two nominees could win the necessary two-thirds majority of the vote.

But at the first regular meeting of the new City Council on Monday night, Randy Morrissette II got the job without a contest.

Alderman Scot O'Malley, who had nominated Lee Wyland for council president at the April 15 meeting, suggested starting the process over at Monday night's meeting. The other council members concurred.

Mayor Dean Knudson asked for nominations, and Alderman Alan Burchill again nominated Morrissette.

An awkward silence followed Knudson's invitation for additional nominations.

"I find this an interesting circumstance," he said with a grin.

O'Malley then moved to close the nominations and the motion carried.

Morrissette was named president by acclimation of the council.

Appearing somewhat surprised by the development, Morrissette thanked the council members for their vote of confidence, adding, "I guess."

Wyland later said he asked O'Malley not to nominate him for the position again.

He said that with chairing the Public Safety Committee, as well as an ad hoc committee looking into the facility needs of the city, he had enough duties on his plate.

Knudson said at the re-organizational meeting that he planned to attend meetings of the Intergovernmental Advisory Council, and also wanted the City Council president to be a member of the advisory body.

The president presides at council meetings if the mayor is absent. He also assumes the powers and duties of mayor if the mayor is unable to for some reason. He isn't able to override a mayor's veto, however.

A busy night

Knudson presented a lengthy agenda for the first regular meeting of the council that he presided over as mayor.

The council:

  • Authorized the police department to hire one new patrol officer and spend $67,900 on technology upgrades. Police Chief Marty Jensen said the additional officer would allow the department to increase patrols during the times of peak calls for service -- late mornings, afternoons and evenings. The equipment purchases will include new laptop computers, radar units, portable breath-testing units and tasers.

    "I'd like us to have the best-trained and best-equipped department in this area," Knudson said.

  • Approved a list of street segments that will get sidewalk and curb and gutter replacements this summer.
  • Approved the repaving of 11th Street South, from Wisconsin Street to Summer Street, and Redwood Drive this summer.
  • Authorized Bonestroo, the city consulting engineering firm, to prepare plans for repaving Crest View Drive, and replacing street lights on Carmichael Drive.

  • Randy Hanson

    Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

    (715) 426-1066