Government, Latest News, Westover Council

Westover Council appoints councilmember-at-large

WESTOVER—Westover City Council has appointed Duane Tatar for councilmember-at-large following the resignation of Stephen Lawrence. 

Tatar was one of four candidates to submit letters of interest. Four council members voted to approve the appointment of Tatar, while First Ward council member Ralph Mullins and Second Ward councilmember Janice Goodwin abstained. 

“You don’t create change unless you’re part of the administration,” Tatar said. “That’s basically why I wanted to get on the council.”

Tatar said he is a longtime owner of a retail business in Westover and recently moved his residency within city limits as well. He said he has been interested in holding a seat on council for two to three years. 

Council unanimously voted to approve an employee supplemental pay, which is funded by the CARES Act, a coronavirus relief intended to help state, local and tribal governments navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This supplemental pay will grant an additional $1,000 per person to 39 city employees. 

Mullins inquired if this payment would include Westover police officer Lt. Aaron Dalton, who has been on paid administrative leave after being named in two civil lawsuits. Mayor Dave Johnson said he will not be included in this supplemental payment.

Following the meeting, councilmembers entered into executive session to review Dalton’s employment status.

Other Business

City Attorney Tim Stranko said construction on Solomon Road is essentially complete, with some minor improvements on the ditch line still needing to be made.

“If you go up there, you’ll see what an attractive all-weather road it is,” Stranko said.

As work on Solomon Road finishes up, Stranko said the city is moving along to the next roadway project, which is to investigate and improve Holland Avenue. 

The city engineers have put cameras down the roadway’s pipelines and observed a number of underground structural problems. Stranko said a full report of the investigation will be available during the next council meeting. 

Spring clean-up is also underway for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Clean-up dates will continue through April 23. 

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on May 3.