NEWS HEADLINES

New mayor outlines changes aimed at citizen involvement

By Mandy Bourgeois | Published Sunday, May 23, 2010

Moments after taking his oath of office Tuesday, newly elected Bridgeport mayor Keith McComis laid out plans for council and city operations.

McComis said the council would no longer have the traditional pre-council meetings 30 minutes before regular meetings. If they did have reason for a pre-council meeting, he said it would be held in the council chambers.

He also said council packets would be given to council members on Thursday rather than Friday.

McComis urged citizens to participate in city government and ask questions of the council and city staff.

“When you call up here, the people will be nice, and you will talk to someone,” he said. “No more recorders.”

McComis also addressed Bridgeport’s economy.

“Our economy is struggling. We don’t want to increase taxes or cut services,” he said, adding that departments may have to be combined to address the decreased income coming into the city. “We need to run the city as a business, and citizens are the stockholders.”

New council member Matthew Van Hoose and re-elected member Scott Cheves also took their oaths of office.

McComis defeated Mayor Don Majka 194 votes to 140 in the May 8 election. Cheves beat challenger Teresa Marney Graves 181 to 146, and Van Hoose defeated incumbent Al Scott 230 votes to 98.

Majka served on city council for 12 years (six as mayor) and Scott for 18 years.

“It’s been a pleasure to serve Bridgeport,” Scott said. “I love Bridgeport – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I wish the very best to the people coming on.”

Majka thanked the community for the chance to serve.

“I hope I’ve been able to contribute to the community,” he said. “I’m just glad to have the opportunity.”

Council settles bill

The council voted to pay Koby McClung and Donna Pochyla’s $2,105.56 bill to Aspen Aire for cleaning up after water damage. They requested that the city pay the bill in February after two of their duplexes on Turkey Creek were damaged.

McClung and Pochyla claim that the water in one of the duplexes was turned off when a resident moved out, but inadvertently turned back on by a city meter reader prior to a new resident moving in. The bathtub faucet was turned on, and water filled the tub and eventually the duplex and the neighboring duplex.

Infrastructure services director Russell Hanson said that the meter map is hard to read but could not say if the city was at fault.

The city code does not require property owners or renters to be on site when the city turns on the water.

“I think, without saying we’re at fault, we pay their bill and go back and fix our code on how we turn these on or off,” McComis said.

Van Hoose, Cheves and Enochs voted to pay the bill. Council members Robert Vidal and Billy Fred Walker were absent.

Mayor pro tem tabled

With two members absent, the council tabled naming a mayor pro tem.

“I think it would be a wise idea to wait until all five members are here,” Enochs said.

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