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Motion to repeal rental ordinance fails at Stewart Council meeting

A motion to repeal the city of Stewart’s rental inspection ordinance failed on a 2-2 vote Monday night.
New Council Member Curt Glaeser made the motion after the City Council had a lengthy discussion with resident Keith Fredrickson over the ordinance.
Both Glaeser and Council Member Chuck Kruggel (who also took office in January) voted in favor of Glaeser’s motion, while council members Kevin Klucas and Jim Eitel voted against.
Mayor Jason Peirce abstained from voting, prompting Glaeser to ask that the city contact its attorney for an opinion on whether the mayor could vote on the issue.
Peirce said he has abstained from voting on the ordinance because he owns rental property in Stewart.
“I’m torn on the whole subject,” said Peirce. “I’ve abstained from voting in the past, and I struggle with voting on this topic.”
Peirce said his voting on the issue could be perceived as a conflict of interest, although he doesn’t feel he would directly benefit financially from voting on the issue.
“This applies to everyone, not just property Peirce owns,” he said.
Peirce said that getting the city attorney’s opinion would cost taxpayers money.
“Well, I think we need to do it,” said Glaeser. “Otherwise we’ll be deadlocked forever.”

For more, see the Feb. 11 print edition of The Chronicle.