Fiery argument ensues between current and former Mayors at Gerald City Council Meeting

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Accusations were flying following the appointment nominations by Gerald Mayor Joann Parmentier for the Gerald City Park Board at last night’s Gerald City Council Meeting. 

Agenda Item: Visitors
Visiting citizen (and former Mayor of Gerald) Otis Schulte was on the meeting agenda under the Visitors section near the beginning of the meeting to express his “concerns for the park” and the "situation" with its current board. 

Currently, the Park Board is planning on building a concession stand, horseshoe court, and new restrooms.  Schulte stated that over the summer, he received two phone calls for the current toilets overflowing at the park.  Parmentier responded that portable toilets and a hand-washing station were put into place this week Tuesday.  Schulte accused Parmentier of only putting those in place after he had called the City Clerk, Sarah Wheeler, to place his concerns on the agenda. 

Schulte reported that, he included, has three citizens who would be willing to take the three vacant seats on the Park Board so that things could get rolling with the park construction.  Parmentier stated that she already has made three Park Board appointments to be voted on at the end of the meeting.  Park Board member selections are a Mayoral Appointment.  Parmentier also stated that Schulte or his other two volunteers did not contact her about being appointed; her three candidates contacted her directly and spoke about their intentions and ideas for the park.  Parmentier invited the citizens to still be a part of the construction as, “anyone who wants to help make the park a better place is welcome to volunteer”.  Schulte then stepped down from the Visitor’s Podium. 

Mayoral Appointments
Towards the end of the meeting, under the section of Mayor’s Appointments, Mayor Parmentier expressed that while looking for three new members for the Park Board, she had an open mind about a “diverse crowd”.  She then introduced candidates Heather Baser, Melissa Lottmann, and Greg Landwehr.  Parmentier described the first two candidates as mothers who take their children to the park on a regular basis and have children’s priorities in mind.  The third candidate approached Parmentier with ideas on providing equipment for children with disabilities.  A motion was made by Alderman Scott Long to accept the Mayor’s candidates as new Park Board members.  The motion remained on the floor without a second.  Alderman Howard Haase stated that the three additional people in question, being the Chief of Police Tommie Lowe, Schulte, and a Mr. Schmidt had approached him prior to the meeting and he believes that they have a “vested interest” in the community.  Haase then told Parmentier, “I think these three will do better than the people you’ve appointed”.  Parmentier fired back that she is “tired of turnover, nothing can be accomplished without a full board.”  Citizen Linda Trest reminded the board that “It is a Mayoral Appointment”. 

Candidate Steps Down
At this time, candidate Melissa Lottmann stood and addressed the board stating that she has lived in Gerald for 5 years and nothing changes, she apologized for the trouble and said she is “not going to be a part of it.  I have an 11 month old at home and I would rather spend my time there.”  Candidate Lottmann left the meeting at this time. 

Parmentier charged the board of alderman of not caring about their community and Haase of “speaking with Otis with the door shut.  This is garbage”.  Trest questioned Haase of his opinion about the candidates, “Is it because they [two of the candidates] are women?”  Candidate Heather Baser stood, and in tears, spoke to the board, “I know you don’t know me but I moved to Gerald from Owensville because I like the smaller town feeling.  Take the big picture; don’t just take your friends.  I don’t care about what happened in the past.”  Baser then accused the board of being short sighted and only looking at the now, not 10 years in the future.

No Appointments Made
Alderman Long moved to adjourn the meeting due to the subsequent arguing.  Alderman Ed Adams stated that he had a few other items, unrelated, that need to be discussed prior to adjournment.  After these discussions, the meeting concluded and no appointments were made for the vacant seats on the Park Board.