Citizens should keep current with city issues By Bertha O. Johnson How many of you are listening to the televised Vermillion City Council meetings on cable T.V. channel 3? If all of you are not, you should be. Persons of age should be registered voters, exercising voting rights in city, state and national elections.
The last city council meeting, Sept. 20, aired a presentation on radon by Robin Richardson, phone number 624-6992. Radon is a cancer causing element found in many places. Robin's presentation was at the end of the long, long, city council meetings. Many of you may have missed it. Call her for more information. This issue is very important. Support radon control!
Another topic of the council meeting was the conflict of interest issue concerning three employees from the same entity The University of South Dakota � serving on the council at one time and voting on all issues, including those issues concerning USD.
I believe these persons have brought quality performance to the council. I question the wisdom of allowing them to vote on issues concerning USD. Can one be a loyal and good employee to their employer if he or she does not favor that employer? And especially in times when other council persons have been asked to abstain from voting on issues concerning their employer. This does not seem proper. There were two council persons related to the issue. In the USD employees there are three council persons � three out of eight!
I was abashed that one council person questioned whether a council man's wife's employment should be an issue. This is turning into an ugly and costly problem.
What is the solution? I don't know but common sense suggests we, in all wards, propose people for council membership election, who do not have conflict of interest issues. It's a problem.
I suggest no more than two candidates have conflict of interest and also abstain from voting on conflict of interest issues. Perhaps a city ordinance is needed to settle this once and for all time.