WOODBINE — An emergency Woodbine City Council meeting last week made sure a joint meeting with the school board and community center group wouldn’t happen this week.
Less than 48 hours following a regular council meeting — during which Kristina Kelly was hired as city clerk — the council tabled until March discussion about support for a design for the center, effectively preventing the joint session scheduled for Wednesday with the other two groups.
Council member Merne Hammitt made the motion to table the discussion, and Dave Moore seconded before Mayor Rick Gau said “we’re not going to vote for it” and closed the meeting. Just minutes earlier, the mayor had said the town “needed to build something to keep school enrollment up and keep people here.”
Announcements for the meeting were posted on Thursday morning, making the session legal since it was beyond the 24-hour period required by the Iowa open meetings law. Friday’s meeting began at 12:30 p.m.
Woodbine school board president Beth Fouts wasn’t surprised that the council would hold such a meeting.
“I’m not shocked. Our joint meeting would happen only if the council approved the design,” Fouts said. “When we met with the council in the past, they were against our plan.”
The design concept and site plan distributed to council members was the focus of contention, a multi-colored map with sites for a swimming pool, wellness center, large storage building, athletic fields and concession stands.
Whether or not the design, which was difficult to read, was the “master plan” set off sparks, The Twiner-Herald reported.
“Why aren’t we approving a master plan?” councilman Bryan Willis asked. “Why don’t we have the master plan in front of us? It’s like you take 30 years of writing on a napkin in a bar. I don’t like where the pool is here. We’re going to modify…