The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 23, 2014

Committee assignments spark discussion

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CAMANCHE — Two men have been appointed to the planning and zoning committee of Camanche, despite some reluctance from members of the city council.

The appointment of Camanche resident Chris Sheridan was a unanimous decision for the council on Tuesday, but his counterpart, former Camanche councilman Gary Kampe, did not receive the same kind of acceptance.

“I just feel with Mr. Kampe’s behavior at the candidate forum, he was the one that said he wasn’t going to pull no shenanigans and he lied to the Chamber of Commerce and the citizens of this community,” Councilman Marvin Lind said. “I’m a liaison to that committee and I don’t want to be on it if he’s going to be on it.”

Lind’s issue with appointing Kampe to the planning and zoning committee was in reference to an Oct. 25 event where Kampe publicly criticized several of the newly elected council members while they were campaigning, during the Camanche candidate forum.

Although Kampe issued an apology to the citizens of Camanche, Mayor Ken Fahlbeck also questioned his appointment to the planning and zoning committee, in part because of the Oct. 25 event, but also because of the health concerns that prevented Kampe from seeking another term on the Camanche City Council.

“If there’s a health issue that you couldn’t run for city council, why would you want to run for a board, if you still have these same issues?” asked Fahlbeck.

Kampe replied that his health issues were no longer a concern as councilman Trevor Willis pointed out that the comparisons between joining the planning and zoning committee were much different than running for council.

“The planning and zoning commission doesn’t meet on a regular basis (and) doesn’t have the decisions to make that would affect your blood pressure,” Willis said.

He also added that the city has had difficulty gaining volunteers for the vacant positions on the planning and zoning committee and that the council should not pass up a qualified candidate like Kampe because of his former actions.

“We have a volunteer who has the city experience who wants to do it, why would we not allow that?” Willis asked. “Just because he did something that angered you at the candidate forum, has no bearing on his ability to fill this position.”

Councilman Bill Wruck also felt that Kampe’s actions at the candidate forum should prevent him from obtaining the planning and zoning position, because of the “embarrassment to the taxpayers and people of (the) community.”

Although there was reluctance from members of the council, Kampe was appointed to the planning and zoning committee on a 3-2 vote to which he responded if the council had someone else to fill the position, he would respectfully resign.

“If the people of this town and the people of that committee don’t want me on there, I don’t want to be on there if they’ve got somebody else who can stand and take it,” Kampe said. “I took it because it was offered to me because there was a vacancy. If you’ve got anyone else, just give me a call.”