Swearing in.jpg

Braham Mayor Patricia Carlson (middle) administers the oath of office to new incoming council members, Ryan Davis (left) and Seth Zeltinger, during the council’s first meeting of the year. Photo by Sarv Mithaqiyan

Braham Police Chief Eric Baumgart requested a full-time police officer be hired during the Braham City Council meeting on Jan. 5.

“I’m putting in 50 to 60 hours a week and I’m being paid for 40,” Baumgart said. “I want the police department to succeed and I wanted to maintain the level that it’s at now, so I’m willing to do that. But it gets old. My wife gets very irritated with me spending two, or three to four hours a day on the weekends working on my computer.”

The discussion for a new police officer also comes after Police Officer Jill Verke resigned from her full-time position to part-time on Jan. 1, Baumgart said. He also requested that Police Officer Keith Justen shift his work hours to full-time. The council approved Baumgart’s requests.

“Thank you very much,” Baumgart said expressing his appreciation for the council for cooperating with his requests. “I want to sincerely thank the council for this. I know it’s controversial. I know it’s something that is not perfect. And I do think you’re going to be happy.”

Snow hauling problem

Public Works Superintendent Dan Eklund explained to the council that some area residents and businesses are violating an ordinance by pushing snow in the middle of the street for the city to remove.

“Here’s the other part of that,” City Administrator Angela Grafstrom said, “the city is paying overtime to our officers or our staff to haul away (for) private businesses. They should be paying a private business to haul that snow away.”

Grafstrom suggested to the council to consider sending letters to the violators, which are about six businesses and residents, warning them that going forward starting in November, they will be responsible for hauling their snow.

“And we’re taking business away from private businesses that would be making money on hauling away that snow and we shouldn’t be competing with private business,” Grafstrom said.

New council members join

Braham Mayor Patricia Carlson administered the oath of office to the new council members, Seth Zeltinger and Ryan Davis, during the council’s first meeting of the year.

Moving forward, the council decided to change the meeting time to 6 p.m. — one hour earlier than the previous year — the first Tuesday of each month.

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