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Gladstone councilman may resign

GLADSTONE -- Questions regarding the employment of a council member by the city was among issues that came to light at Monday night's organizational meeting.

Denny Enger has worked for Gladstone in public works and maintenance for about a year. He had been appointed to fill a vacancy on the commission about eight years, he said.

Enger and Darrell Sadowsky's names were on the June 8 election ballot to fill two seats. Enger took 38 percent of the vote with 40 votes and Sadowsky earned 45 votes. There were 21 write-ins.

However, according to North Dakota Century Code, a city employee cannot hold public office. While he was recently elected and sworn into office, Enger has until the next regular meeting to decide if he wants to work for the city or keep his position on the council.

"If it comes down to it, between the two, I know what it's got to be," he said. "If it comes to push and shove I have to retire from the council -- I hate to do it."

He said he can't afford to give up his income but enjoys serving on the council.

Enger was supposed to be a temporary fill-in and others in town have been interested in the position, council member Darcy Fossum said after the meeting.

"It's been public knowledge in the city of Gladstone for a long time, but it's been allowed," he said.

Once Enger formally gives his resignation, the council must wait 15 days. If 5 percent of the residents want a special election, they can request it in that time. Otherwise, council members can appoint someone to serve until the next election or hold a special election.

Mayor Kurt Martin also appointed Sadowsky as council president and Fossum as vice president during the meeting. He appointed Mary Nordsven with Hardy, Maus & Nordsven as city attorney and Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson Inc. of Dickinson as city engineer.

Fossum says he has concerns with the appointments. According to code, the appointments don't come down to the mayor alone. Council members are to elect the president and vice president.

"At the next meeting I think it will probably have to be readdressed because it wasn't done correctly," Fossum said, adding it is discouraging the mayor was not aware of the ordinance.

Martin did not return messages left at his home and office Tuesday seeking comment.

Questions also came up regarding the auditor's position during Monday's meeting. The city needs someone certified for water-related duties, which the current auditor is not. The mayor would like to get applicants for the position and the issue will be brought up at a future meeting.

Besides appointments, Martin said he will be putting together committees, such as weed control, streets and dog issues, which each member will serve on and "distribute the headaches," he joked. This has been done in the past but not in recent years.

"I think it's good to have committees to spread out the responsibilities," Fossum said.