Interim chiefThe Jamestown City Council named Lt. John Gletne to be interim police chief during its regular meeting Tuesday.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown City Council named Lt. John Gletne to be interim police chief during its regular meeting Tuesday.
Gletne will hold the post anywhere from two weeks to 90 days, according to Jamestown Mayor Katie Andersen. He had not applied for the position.
Jamestown officials have interviewed Sgt. Scott Edinger, Sgt. Tom Nagel, Lt. Robert Opp and Capt. Gary Peterson from the Jamestown Police Department and Lt. Joel Sharf of the Moorhead (Minn.) Police Department.
The position came open because former Chief Dave Donegan retired. His last day on duty was Dec. 31.
“We are not necessarily leaning to any one candidate,” Andersen said. “This just gives us more time to gather information and make a decision.”
Gletne’s appointment as interim police chief passed the City Council unanimously. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.
The City Council also debated a request from former Mayor Clarice Liechty concerning property tax exemptions granted to Prairie Apartments.
“This is something we’ve discussed in the past at length,” said Pat Nygaard, city councilman. “My opinion remains the same in that we should correct the mistake.”
Liechty alleges Prairie Apartments is not providing the assisted living services that were the basis of the property tax exemption request. Liechty operates a competing apartment complex.
“That assumes there is something wrong,” said Ken Schulz, city councilman. “Do we have any proof other than the word of a competitor? In the opinion of the City Council at that time this was an action that would be beneficial to the community. Without any proof there are any laws being broken or any broken contractual agreements I don’t see that we can take any other action.”
Councilman Charlie Kourajian said an investigation might be what Liechty was seeking.
“That seems to be what she is asking,” he said. “Is there anyone living on assisted living up there? Pat (Nygaard) and I are asking that we check to see if those services are available.”
No motion to investigate the situation was made. A motion by Andersen to deny the request to reconsider the tax exemptions passed on a 3-2 vote with Anderson, Ramone Gumke and Schulz voting in favor and Nygaard and Kourajian opposed.
In other business, the City Council heard a brief update on the quiet zone.
“We’re still waiting on the Federal Railroad Administration,” said Reed Schwartzkopf, city engineer. “The person who was here Sunday is talking to supervisors and lawyers about the intersection.”
The quiet zone officially went into effect at midnight Monday for four crossings in the downtown area. The Third Street Southeast crossing is still at issue because of safety concerns raised by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Westbound motorists have been crossing between the traffic islands on the tracks to make illegal left turns onto 12th Avenue South.
“Hopefully we will see something in the next couple of working days,” Schwartzkopf said. “There is some merit to closing 12th Avenue but we should wait to see the response (from FRA) before we consider that.”
The council also tabled a complaint from Dan Holm for damage done by street crews to trees along the boulevard in front of his property. City street crews had been trimming branches that overhang the street from boulevard trees.
“They butchered my trees,” Holm said. “I call it vandalism.”
Schwartzkopf said city street crews had been instructed to include the city forester when trimming boulevard trees after the complaint came to light.
The issue was added to the Jan. 26 Public Works Committee agenda to allow other homeowners’ complaints to be heard.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at email@example.com