McComber takes seat as OPH mayor

Tenth Judicial District Judge John Cass, left, administers the oath of office to Oak Park Heights councilman Mike Runk Tuesday night. Joining Runk on the 2013 council was councilman Chuck Dougherty.

Tenth Judicial District Judge John Cass, left, administers the oath of office to Oak Park Heights councilman Mike Runk Tuesday night. Joining Runk on the 2013 council was councilman Chuck Dougherty.

 

 

 

 

 

OAK PARK HEIGHTS — Some habits can be hard to break. Just ask Oak Park Heights City Administrator Eric Johnson

As Johnson called on council members during the panel’s consent agenda vote Tuesday night, he reached the last name on the five-member group and said, “Mayor Beaudet.”

After a short pause, Johnson and the council enjoyed a laugh before Johnson called on new Mayor Mary McComber for her vote, adding his slip of the tongue, “It’s been 10 years of doing that.”

McComber and council members Chuck Dougherty and Mike Runk took their oaths of office Tuesday from 10th Judicial District Judge John Cass at the new council held its first 2013 meeting.

McComber, who served 12 years on the council before defeating former Mayor David Beaudet in November, said her first meeting went “just fine.”

McComber said one of her first orders of business is finding ways for the new council to work together on a variety of city issues.

“This year my goal is working together as a team,” she said. “Starting out on a good foot.”

Toward that goal, McComber has scheduled a team building session for council members later this month.

Water Street Inn owner Daughery, a former member of the city’s Planning and Parks commissions, said his goal as a new councilman is ensuring that the city continues to operate efficiently.

“The city is pretty well run and financially is in good shape,” he said.

Other issues addressed by the council Tuesday included:

n Directing City Engineer Chris Long to proceed with plans for utility work on 62nd Street between Oxboro and Panama avenues that part of a Washington County improvement project at the Government Center campus.

Long said the city will submit 90 percent of its plans for the utility work to the county by the middle of the month.

“We’ll get these plans out for review by the county and state and we’ll be ready to go in May,” he said.

Agreed to pay the city’s dues to the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce after Runk criticized the organization for not responding to claims by the city that information in a chamber mailing to businesses last summer was incorrect.

“There was no follow up, no retraction,” Runk said. “I was disappointed, not so much that the letter went out, but once the city administrator contacted them, we did not hear back from them.”

Chamber Executive Director Todd Streeter said he recalled sending the letter to city businesses to tell them about a meeting between city and state Department of Transportation officials regarding approach work on Minnesota Highway 36 for the St. Croix River Crossing project.

“If I did not get back to Mr. Johnson, I sincerely apologize,” Streeter said.

n Accepted information from First Presbyterian Church regarding the denial of the church’s appeal of a city sewer utility charge for July through September.

A church spokesman told the council that First Presbyterian seeks a rebate on the sewer portion of the bill, claiming that not all the water from the church’s underground sprinkler system ended up in the city’s sanitary sewer.

The spokesman said the water situation occurred when another church official did not properly set the sprinkler system, causing it to come on both during the day and at night.

The council accepted the church’s information and gave city staff 30 days to study the documents and bring a recommendation to the council.

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