Sedalia officially has a new mayor. Steve Galliher, along with new councilmembers Jim Cunningham and Don Meier, and incumbents Wanda Monsees and Tollie Rowe were all sworn in Monday during the Sedalia City Council meeting.
Before the swearing-in ceremony, outgoing Mayor Elaine Horn had a special plaque of appreciation for four-term outgoing Ward 3 Councilman Wiley Walter. It was an emotional moment as Walter, who has been in a wheelchair for health reasons, was able to walk into council chambers to accept the plaque.
“I just want to thank the people of Third Ward,” Walter told the standing room only crowd. “Sedalia is the finest place to live and I really appreciate everything (the city) does to help us along.”
Walter’s wife, Helen, was also honored with flowers during the ceremony, as a “thank you for taking the time to help make sure Wiley was always here at the meetings,” Horn said.
In a new tradition, Horn recognized Monsees as an outstanding councilmember.
“(Galliher) and I have talked and we decided we wanted to start a new tradition, honoring a current councilmember for going above and beyond the call of service,” Horn said.
Monsees teared up while accepting the special plaque and said she would continue to keep serving the citizens of Second Ward and Sedalia.
Horn was also honored for her eight years on council, including receiving a special gift from Rowe.
“My very first vote as a councilman was a tie, so I’m giving you a (necktie) and a pair of scissors. You can break your own damn ties now,” Rowe said to the crowd’s laughter.
After all new and incumbent members were sworn in, council started its official business, getting off to a shaky start when it came time to vote for a Mayor Pro Tem. Generally the pro tem acts as temporary mayor when the elected mayor cannot be present for meetings.
Rowe started the proceedings by nominating Ward 1 Councilwoman Jo Lynn Turley while Ward 4 Councilman Larry Stevenson nominated Ward 3 Councilman Bob Cross, who has served as pro tem for the past year. During the roll call vote there was no majority for either candidate because Meier abstained on both nominations. After a short recess conferring with Galliher, Meier came back to chambers and changed his vote. Cunningham, Turley and Rowe voted for Turley; Ward 2 Councilwoman Becca La Strada, Monsees, Meier, Cross and Stevenson voted for Cross.
After the meeting, Galliher told the Democrat he was ready to get to work and thanked Horn again for her years of service.
“It’s going to be a good four years,” he said. “We’ll continue to have a great city council, though we will miss the mayor. Her inspiration to folks and her compassion for Sedalia will carry on.”
During the meeting council also:
• Heard a presentation from the Smart Growth Committee.
• Approved a bid of trap rock to be used in the city’s chip and seal process; $8 per ton.
• Approved a bid to Hughesville-based H&M Trucking haul trap rock; $30 per ton.
• Approved a bid to Sherwin-Williams for a paint sprayer to be used in the sign shop; $4,944.44
• Approved an agreement between the city and Midland GIS Solutions for upgrading the city’s GIS website to provide mobile wastewater information; $3,000 for one year
• Approved a bid to American Home Assurance Company (AIG) for property insurance for both the city and Bothwell Regional Health Center; premium rate of approximately $202,000
• Approved a resolution to allow Cooperative Workshops Inc. to seek funding through a Community Development Block Grant for infrastructure improvements.