Tthe Watson City Council met July 13 and finished filling all of its empty seats. With newly appointed Mayor Todd Vogel present, there was still one remaining seat to be filled.


Tthe Watson City Council met July 13 and finished filling all of its empty seats. With newly appointed Mayor Todd Vogel present, there was still one remaining seat to be filled.

The city of Watson received one application, from Connie Dornbusch, for the vacancy on council and decided unanimously to appoint her at the meeting.

The council approved a building permit for Aziz Ansari, at no cost, under the condition that he provides the correct paperwork required. However, Ansari in­sisted that the out-of-court settlement the city agreed to stated he did not need to file the paperwork, and that the city would provide for him the permits he needed.

He also said that, because it has been 60 days since he requested the permit, and the city had not yet given a response, state law dictates that the permits are automatically passed.

“I feel that we have done everything we’re supposed to do,” Vogel said. “We are happy to give Aziz his permit, but there is a process that has to be followed.”

Having taken the position of mayor while the city deals with a number of problems, Vogel feels that his goals are fairly straightforward.

“We have to get all of the little things together; they’re tearing the city up,” he said. “But I’m mainly focused on the water and sewer project, that’s what the city needs right now. I’ll let the attorneys figure out all of the legal stuff.”

The council has largely decided to run things as tightly as possible, taking a lot of advice from their attorney. Council members will no longer take questions or comments during meetings. Instead, those who have expressed an interest in speaking beforehand will be given three minutes at the end of meetings to address council.

Copies of the agenda and other paperwork used during the meetings will now only be available outside of the meeting at a charge of 25 cents a copy, with the proper paperwork filled out.

In other business:

• The city has made headway in gaining easements for the water and sewer project. Many citizens have granted the easements, while others have accepted low-cost payment with the help of an agent. City officials hope to finish acquiring the remaining easements quickly in order to avoid a fine from the state on July 30.

• The council deliberated whether or not to accept a donation from the Lac qui Parle Lake Association in order to purchase two hogs and a live band for a local event. After some review, members voted unanimously to accept the donation with the contingency that research shows they would not be held liable for any incidents that might occur because of the event. There will be a donation jar at the event for the city.

• Watson resident Bob Buchanan expressed concerns that the city is handling finances irresponsibly. Having compared last month’s budget distributed at the meeting to some numbers mentioned during a meeting the previous Friday, Buchanan said the city’s budget seems to be thousands of dollars under zero.

He also asked to hear what the council’s plan was to avoid bankruptcy. The council did not comment.

After the meeting, Vogel looked into the discrepancy. He insisted to this reporter that the balance issue was because the numbers available at the council meetings are not necessarily indicative of the city’s final budget each month if money has not been deposited or distributed by the time the meeting takes place.