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Horseshoe Bend council appoints councilman

Thursday, September 23, 2004

After refusing to appoint Daniel Grover to the vacant Ward 1 Position 2 council seat at its August meeting, the Horseshoe Bend City Council did an about-face Sept. 20 and appointed Grover to the position.

The council approved Grover's appointment 6-0. Alderman Smiley Lenhard abstained.

Mayor Bob Spear said the council was in violation of state statute by not appointing someone in August to fill the seat vacated by Owen Cluts.

At the August meeting, a heated exchange between Lenhard and Grover began when Lenhard made comments about the appearance of Grover's yard.

Lenhard said Grover had "junk" and other objects in his yard which violated city codes.

Grover responded angrily, telling Lenhard to stay out of his life.

After the exchange, the city council rejected Grover's appointment by a 5-2 vote.

Alderman George Florea said the "verbal abuse and public humiliation" Grover was subjected to by Lenhard at the last city council meeting was unacceptable. He said Grover has never been cited for violating Horseshoe Bend's property appearance ordinance.Florea praised Grover for his composure during the verbal assault from Lenhard. "He handled himself well, considering the circumstances," Florea said.

Lenhard's response to Floreas' accusations was short and direct.

"I told the mayor exactly what I was going to say before the meeting. If I was not supposed to say that stuff, than someone should have said so. I don't take it back," said Lenhard.

Spear said he has no control over what any of the councilmen say or do.

"Smiley, I don't control your speech. What you say is up to you. You're an elected official, just like me," Spear said.

In other Bend council business, the council unanimously passed an ordinance giving the city the authority to remove items from a property when the owner refuses to clean the property.

Ordinance 2004-10 allows the city to clean up any property that has been cited multiple times by the code enforcement officer.

The property owner will be charged with the cleanup.

A proposed increase in property assessment by the MRID was tabled by the council until October.

Alderman Florea said he made the motion to table the vote until next month to allow councilmen more time to study the proposed increases.

Several citizens at the meeting said they were angry over the increase proposal. One citizen said the assessment increases only benefit the golf course.

"The people who golf should pay for the golf course, not the rest of us," said the citizen.

Alderman Barbara Bell said an assessment increase would benefit all amenities covered by the MRID, including the city pool, lakes and the golf course.

"We need to maintain all of these attractions in Horseshoe Bend. Not maintaining the golf course will affect everyone's property value in Horseshoe Bend," said Bell.

Alderman Steve Boyer asked the public to contact board members so the council can make an informed decision when the proposal is voted on in October.

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