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Stewart council hears public input, $7.79 million shortfall

The Stewart City Council worked through a two-page agenda during their monthly meeting on August 13. The council approved the resolution to accept a letter of resignation from Council Member Jacqueline Curlott and declared a vacancy, listened to public input on the city’s pet ordinance, heard an explanation for a $7.795 million RS fiber debt service shortfall, and hired and fired a firefighter.
Council Member Jacqueline Curlott’s letter of resignation, dated July 23, created a vacancy on the Stewart City Council. Curlott reportedly turned in her letter of resignation due to job scheduling issues. Per a state statute, the current city council is allowed to appoint a new council member until a special election is held.
Among the bulkiest portions of the nearly three-hour meeting were the public input regarding the pet ordinance and RS Fiber’s $7.795 million cooperative debt service shortfall. A relatively large public attendance was on full display, and they didn’t save any breath for the council regarding the city’s pet ordinance and an oddly large feral cat population.
“We have more than enough cats,” a resident argued in front of the council from the front row. “During the winter, there’s a heavy urination odor,” he continued, with a strong emphasis and a short, dramatic pause on “heavy.” Mayor Jason Peirce thanked him for his input but shifted the conversation over to the city’s ordinance on dogs. The current ordinance allows for two dogs, but doesn’t allow any sort of kennel services within city limits.
Council Member Curt Glaeser echoed concerns about the dog limit, implying that the council should look into changing the ordinance: “If you want a hunting dog and your wife wants a lap dog, you’re already at three right there,” Glaeser said. Though seemingly lousy math, Glaeser and the public pointed out that hunting dogs, when they get too old for hunting, are essential for showing a new hunting puppy the ropes. Therefore, the master, the apprentice and the wife’s lap dog make for an ordinance violation.

Read the entire story in the Aug. 15 edition of The Chronicle.