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City of Mtn. View opts to wait until April election to fill vacant ward seat


MOUNTAIN VIEW — Mtn. View City Council members declined to approve an appointment to fill an empty seat last week, opting instead to leave it to voters in April, in part because some expressed a belief that it was pointless to have someone sit on the council for only two meetings before being replaced.

The unanimous "no" vote followed a suggestion by Mayor John Krasuski that Mary Lenz be appointed as East Ward Alderwoman, a seat held briefly by Judi Colter before her appointment to the seat previously held by Murray Anderson, who resigned in December, failed to be affirmed last month. Judi Colter is a cousin by marriage of West Ward Alderwoman Brenda Colter, and is running unopposed for the position on April 2.

Additionally, there are two candidates for a one-year term now being filled by appointee Bud Vines, who replaced Steven Sills after his resignation in November. Vines has chosen not to run and Vicki Carr and David Bauer will be on the ballot.

West Ward Alderman Lindell Vandevort has also decided not run for re-lection as a West Ward alderman, and Calvin Perry and Lucinda Burton are candidates for that two-year term.

Krasuski is running unopposed for a two-year term as mayor.

Buck Nelson Festival organizer Robin McCullough gave an update on festivities and asked if a festival banner could be hung from the Mtn. View welcome sign, permission for which was granted by council members without the necessity of a vote.

She also asked if the Mtn. View Police Department could offer support during a planned nighttime 5K glow run, suggesting officers might be able to monitor the race in order to keep participants safe.

She also confirmed that members of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) will be present at the festival, to be held the weekend and day of the April 8 total solar eclipse. The festival is planned to include UFO and science-themed activities. It is named after a Mtn. View area resident, Buck Nelson, who in the late 1950s and early 1960s brought fame, UFO enthusiasts and researchers to the area after claims he'd had close encounters with UFOs that eventually included a ride on a spaceship.


Assistant Police Chief Stetson Schwien gave a presentation and requested permission to purchase three vehicles for the police department, a discussion which continued from last month when he gave council members the news that a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant for the purchase of vehicles had fallen through.

During this most recent meeting, he proposed the purchase of a 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe to be equipped for use as a K9 vehicle, plus a fully-equipped 2015 Ford Explorer and a 2014 Ford Explorer. All three would cost $41,500, about $15,000 above what the department had allocated in its budget, but Schwien explained he could transfer the difference from a safety budget to make the purchase. All voted in favor.

Later in the meeting, Schwien asked permission to buy two new light bars and control boxes for $7,300, to be fully reimbursed by a grant, and that request also passed unanimously.

Per a request made by council members last month, Operations Manager Eddie Owens presented a list of surplus items to be sold to cover the cost of buying two used vehicles, a 2010 Ford F150 four-wheel-drive extended cab for the Parks department, priced at $5,000, and another for the fire chief, a used Ford F150 formerly used as a four-wheel-drive highway patrol and pre-wired for a light kit, for $10,750. The estimates came in about $5,000 less than expected and Owens noted the selling a surplus fire engine and search and rescue truck from the fire department should more than cover the cost of the new vehicles.

He commented he thought he could get from $28,500 to $63,000, from the sale of surplus vehicles and other items.

Before the meeting’s conclusion, vote was held that authorized Krasuski to sign an American Rescue Plan Act reimbursement grant for expenses related to replacing and repairing runway lights and removal of a 10,000-gallon fuel tank at the airport.

Owens said while the city would likely have to go ahead and pay out the costs, without getting a loan, the grant should cover most, if not all, of the expense.

The first reading of three bills to become ordinances regarded the repeal of court costs that were found to be no longer in compliance following a routine audit, which haven’t been collected in recent memory or record, according to City Attorney Deedra Nicholson.

Each first reading was voted on and passed unanimously.


Presentations were made during the council meeting by Community Betterment board member Cricket Anderson and Soccer Association member Laura Wagner regarding updates on those activities and upcoming events.

Anderson summarized activities sponsored by Community Betterment during 2023, including 11 free meals served to about 1,000 people, two downtown cleanups, a pool cleanup, volunteers to helpe with summer’s Aaron Tippin concert, youth hunter education classes, grant-writing courses and Trunk or Treat.

She said plans for the upcoming year include Trunk or Treat, to be held Oct. 26, the Saturday before Halloween, and free meals will continue to be offered on the third Tuesday of each month.

She also asked about the possibility of having new welcome signs put up at each end of town, bike racks installed and supplying pet waste stations at some of the city parks. Anderson asked Owens if it would be possible for the parks department to empty trash cans at the pet waste stations, and Owens said it would.

Soccer season will start in March and end in May, Wagner told council members, reminding them there will be extra vehicle and pedestrian traffic during that time and suggesting signs be posted to urge drivers to slow down.

She added extra police patrols through the area during soccer practices and games has been helpful in the past, and told council members two soccer players have benefited from athletic scholarships earned because of participation in the Soccer Association, despite having no soccer program at the school. About 300 children participate each year, she said.

Before adjournment, Krasuski commented on the recent town hall meetings, sharing his thought that progress has been made and he has heard good comments and suggestions.