Saturday, June 19, 2021

Corrigan-Ekness resigns from Polson City Commission

Lake County Leader | June 10, 2021 12:50 AM

The Polson City Commission accepted the resignation of Ward 2 Commissioner Patricia Corrigan-Ekness on Monday night. Corrigan-Ekness was appointed to the Commission in October to serve the remainder of Bob Martin’s term after he moved out of his district to Swan Lake.

Corrigan-Ekness submitted a letter of resignation May 17. It does not provide a reason, but commissioners on Monday said she was unable to fulfill the commitment.

The city will soon begin accepting applications for the vacant seat, which comes with a term that ends Dec. 31.

Tony Isbell is Ward 2’s lone commissioner until Corrigan-Ekness is replaced.

Corrigan-Ekness’ involvement with city matters will not end, however, as she was appointed to a vacant position on the city’s Economic Development Council (EDC) during a separate action Monday. She will serve a term that began Jan. 1 and runs through Dec. 31, 2023.

Commissioners also appointed Bobbie Goldberg, owner of Second Nature Gifts and Goods on Main Street, to a term on the EDC that runs through Dec. 31, 2022. Goldberg recently served as a panelist during Polson Bounces Back, a local business summit hosted by the city and Mission West Community Development Partners at Showboat Stadium 6, also on Main Street.

The two appointments leave the seven-member EDC with just a single vacancy, according to the city’s website. Current members also include Tim Delaney, Kirk Foreman, Brian Cannavaro and Mandy Smith.

In other business, commissioners approved an agreement with the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Housing Authority that allows a fixed payment rather than property taxes for city services at Housing Authority properties within city limits. The five-year agreement calls for a payment of $150 per unit.

“It’s an identical dollar figure to what they pay Lake County,” City Manager Ed Meece said.

The city received $6,150 in such payments from CSKT during fiscal year 2020, according to Monday’s agenda packet.

Isbell was the lone dissenting vote. He said he would like to leave the door open to a larger fee and wanted an agreement that was less than five years.

Commissioners also considered a proposal by Safeway to build an Americans with Disabilities Act accessible sidewalk from U.S. Highway 93 to the store’s parking lot. The plan would require two actions: an agreement with the Montana Department of Transportation to construct the sidewalk; and an agreement with Safeway to assume responsibility for basic upkeep. All three entities would share the burden of liability, according to Meece. Safeway would pay the cost of construction.

“This is a project that (Safeway) initiated, so we don’t have any cost,” Meece said.

Ward 3 Commissioner Carolyn Pardini questioned who would be served by such a sidewalk since it leads directly to a busy highway rather than a bus stop or other pedestrian setting.

“I’m all about sidewalks,” Pardini said, “but until we get some more information I’m having a hard time supporting this one.”

Commissioner Isbell said he supported it primarily because he’d like to see a sidewalk connecting Safeway and Walmart, and this project may help hasten that goal.

Commissioners voted against the agreement with the state, with Isbell as the lone supporter, and tabled the Safeway agreement. Pardini and Mayor Paul Briney both said they’d be willing to reconsider the plan if more information was presented.

The next Polson City Commission meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 21.