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Alderperson resigns Delavan City Council post

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Kathleen Foody
July 21, 2009
— After serving on the city council for more than six years, Alderperson Ellen Reddy resigned this weekend.

Delavan Mayor Mel Nieuwenhuis opened Monday's special council meeting with the announcement that Reddy had contacted him Saturday with her decision.


Nieuwenhuis said he spoke with Reddy again Monday, hoping she had changed her mind, but she was "staying with" her choice.


"Even though at times we disagreed, I still always respected her thoughts," Nieuwenhuis said.


The Gazette was unable to reach Reddy for comment.


Reddy was elected to represent Delavan's 1st District in 2002 and was elected to represent the 2nd District in 2006.


Campaigning before the April 2009 election, Reddy promised residents that her experience would further the city's efforts and provide a more concrete plan for the future.


Parks and recreation leadership

During Monday's special session, the council directed the city's general operations committee to review the ordinance that prevented the appointment of an outside leader for the parks and recreation department.


City officials will prepare alternatives this week for the committee to evaluate, said city attorney Steve Koch. A meeting of the committee is scheduled for today, but the proposals cannot be ready that quickly, he said.


Earlier this year, Joe Peyer, former interim director of the parks and recreation department, proposed that the city contract with the Geneva Lakes YMCA to run the department.


The parks and recreation commission had already recommended the city hire a full-time director.


At last week's special session, council members requested a report on the legal implications of hiring an outside director. City staff concluded that the move would not be possible unless city ordinances were altered.


Alderman Dave Kilkenny proposed they be changed.


Although Alderman Mary O'Connor said Kilkenny should not advocate changing ordinances when they don't "suit his needs," she eventually voted in favor of developing alternatives for consideration. Aldermen Ron Siedelmann and Jeff Johnson also voted in favor of the move.


The council will need to approve any alternatives that the committee accepts.


After the meeting, Peyer said the time necessary to change the ordinance and allow it to go into effect would be difficult for the city to cover. Hiring from an applicant pool would be a quicker, more permanent solution, he said.


"It wouldn't be fair to the city or its welfare (to wait)," he said.


The council also approved funding to inspect and clean the city's sewage system. More than $17,000 will cover any problems that crews find and eliminate the need for another funding request, Kilkenny said.



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