Morin appointed to city council

Joe Morin (left) is sworn in as a Cambridge City Councll member by Cambridge Mayor Jim Godfrey. 

The Cambridge City Council looked to a familiar face to fill out the remaining year of the vacant council seat created by the death of Marlys Palmer. During the Nov. 18 council meeting, the council appointed Joe Morin to fill that seat.

The vote came following each of the four council members selecting their choice of two finalists from among the six applicants that were interviewed for the position. Both Bob Shogren and Kersten Barfknecht-Conley selected Morin and Tom Schibilla as their finalists. Mayor Jim Godfrey added Sharon Martens to the list, and Lisa Iverson added Randy Westby; however, neither mentioned who their second finalist was.

With Morin and Schibilla the only two who were listed as finalists by more than one council member, Godfrey declared them the finalists and asked the council to make their choice between those two.

Shogren started the voting by selecting Morin.

“He has years of experience,” Shogren said. “This is a short appointment, and he wouldn’t need to be trained. He knows how it works.”

Iverson said that she was voting for Schibilla, presenting the opposite argument associated with it being a short term.

“I know Joe would do a great job ... (but) just because it is a short term, I just think it’s a good opportunity for somebody to get their feet wet,” Iverson said.

Before Godfrey cast his vote, City Administrator Lynda Woulfe reminded the council that if the vote ended in a tie, it would be up to the mayor to then appoint the person.

“All the candidates were so strong, I didn’t have a clear favorite,” Godfrey said before casting his vote. “Based on that, I’m going to go with Joe just for the judiciousness of this.”

Before the final vote, both Iverson and Godfrey thanked each of the candidates for putting their names in the hat, and encouraged them to consider either running for one of the two seats that will be up for election in November 2020, or applying to one of the commissions that currently has or will have a vacancy in the near future.

City to allow residential steel roofs

After tabling an ordinance change that would specify if and what types of steel roofs the city would allow on residents’ homes due to a 2-2 tie vote, the council formally approved an ordinance on a 3-2 vote.

The main sticking point of the ordinance was again if the city would allow for exposed fasteners or if it would only allow roofs to have hidden fasteners. The draft of the ordinance presented to the council that was being recommended by the planning commission didn’t allow for exposed fasteners.

Shogren reminded the council that based on the information provided to them at the previous meeting, the installation of hidden fasteners is considerably more expensive than exposed fasteners, which is one of the reasons why he made the motion to pass the ordinance minus language restricting the use of exposed fasteners. He then made the same motion.

After a lengthy discussion that included the comparison of photos showing both exposed and hidden fasteners, the council approved Shogren’s motion, with new council member Morin and Barfknecht-Conley voting against, but Godfrey reversed his previous position and voted yes with Shogren and Iverson.

Hearing held for failed alcohol compliance check

After failing an alcohol compliance check back on Oct. 23, the city council held a mandatory hearing with Applebee’s in order to issue penalties against the local restaurant.

“I want to make sure the council understands that Applebee’s has been extremely cooperative with all of our licensing issue,” Woulfe said. “This happens to be an unfortunate incident where they have failed an alcohol compliance check.”

Woulfe explained that based on city ordinance, any alcohol license-holder who fails one compliance check within three years will have their license suspended for one day, plus they will be fined $500. Woulfe told the council Applebee’s last failed check occurred in April 2016, so it has been over three years.

Representatives of Applebee’s who were in attendance for the hearing apologized for the mistake, telling the council the employee has been terminated because of this. They then asked if there was a way they could make a donation to something like a food shelf in lieu of the one-day license suspension.

City attorney Jay Squires told the council that the way the ordinance is written, there is no alternative to the suspension that can be arranged. 

As a compromise, Woulfe suggested they impose the suspension on the least-busy day of the week, which the representatives indicated would be a Monday or Tuesday. The council agreed with the compromise and approved the suspension be effective on Monday, Nov. 25.

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