Bowman tables $220 increase in library contract

By Linton Johnson

The Bowman City Council voted unanimously Monday to table a decision on renewing the city’s contract with the Bowman Public Library.
At issue for council members was a lack of advance notice of a $220 increase in the annual contract from $5,400 to $5,620 – as illustrated by this exchange between council member Rachel Felice and Mayor Mark Berryman:
”I was just saying that I wish that we were given this before and somebody could go over the numbers so we know what we’re voting on,” Felice said. “Sometimes I feel like we’re voting on something and really don’t know what’s going on.”
”You know, you have that right,” Berryman replied. “Your vote is just as valid as anyone else’s. Over that small of an increase, though, I’m not going to nickel and dime people to death. That’s just my personal opinion.”
“Yeah, but it happens all the time,” Felice responded.
An original motion to renew the contract was defeated by a vote of 3-2, with council members Felice, Carla Patten and Wade Bridges voting against and council members Tammy Dalton and Tyson Almond voting in favor.
At the end of the meeting, City Attorney Richard Campbell urged the council to reconsider its action as a motion to table the issue until the October regular meeting. By rejecting the renewal of the contract, Campbell said, “it raises the question as to whether we’re just not going to have a library.”
In other business, the council did vote to approve an expenditure of $600 for eight wooden posts for Bowman’s four new welcome signs to be placed at each of the city’s entrances, north and south on Highway 17 and east and west on Highway 172.
Council members also set Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. as the date and time for this year’s Bowman Christmas Parade.
Also, a candlelight vigil will be held Sunday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m. on the Bowman Public Square in recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week.

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