Havre Daily News - News you can use

City Council still taking judge applications

One applicant so far, deadline is Friday


January 8, 2019

Havre Mayor Tim Solomon told Havre City Council during its meeting Monday that the city is accepting applications to fill the vacancy of city judge, through Friday, adding the city council then will schedule a special meeting to review applications and appoint someone to this position.

City Judge Virginia Seigel announced in November her resignation effective Jan. 21. Siegel is taking a position with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Finance Director and City Clerk Doug Kaercher said that so far there has been one applicant, Susan Brurud, for the position.

Council member Caleb Hutchins, chair of the council’s Ordinance Committee, called a meeting for the committee Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. to review language of the proposed vacant property registry ordinance the council’s Ad-Hoc Committee approved Dec. 27.

If the Ordinance Committee approves the vacant property registry ordinance, it would be looked over by the city’s legal counsel before it is brought in front of the full council, Hutchins said.

The ordinance says if a property is vacant for 60 days, with the definition of vacancy written into the ordinance, the owners of the property would be required to register the property with the city, Hutchins said. He added that it would be listed on a vacant property registry which would include emergency contacts for a property manager within 60 miles of the city.

Owners also would have to submit a plan of what they would do with their property as far as repairs, selling it, renting it, living in it or demolishing it, including a rough timeline, when they register the property.

He added that failing to meet the requirements of the ordinance would incur a fee starting at $100 the first year, increasing by $100 every year after that up to a maximum of $500.

“It’s essential to get that property back into productive use,” Hutchins said.

He added that many different avenues would be available for exemptions for properties such as property that is damaged in a natural disaster or people who live on the property part-time. Hutchins said a process is laid out in the ordinance for these exemptions.

Council also approved the appointment of of Marc Oberweiser to the position of probationary patrol officer with the Havre Police Department.

Chief Gabe Matosich said that Oberweiser was unable to attend the meeting Monday because he was at the police academy.

Mayor Tim Solomon said Oberweiser will be sworn in at a later date.

Oberweiser grew up in Billings and graduated from Billings Senior High School, Matosich said. He added that Oberweiser is the son of Tom and Pam Oberweiser, and his father is a former Havre police officer.

“He’s excited to continue to move forward and follow in his father’s footsteps,” Matosich said.

City Council also approved Solomon’s appointment of Chase Stoner to the Havre City-County Airport Board and approved the December Claims and Manual Warrants.


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