MINUTES - MORRIS CITY COUNCIL REGULAR MEETING - NOVEMBER 28th,
regular meeting of the Morris City Council was called to order at 5:15 p.m.
this 28th day of November, 2017, by Mayor Giese in the Council
Chambers of the Morris Senior Citizens Community Center.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Roll call was taken with the following members present: Council member
Wohlers, Gullickson, Miller and Mayor Giese. Council member Solvie was
absent. Also present was City Manager Hill, Public Works Director Dittbenner,
Police Chief Tiegs and City Attorney Jordan.
County Auditor Amanda Barsness - New Voting Machines: County Auditor
Amanda Barsness was present at the meeting. Barsness discussed the fact that
the state has a grant available for counties to purchase new voting equipment.
Barsness stated elections are expensive and she wants to make sure the county's
grant dollars are being used appropriately. Barsness proposed that the City of
Morris reduce their polling places from six down to three. This would save
money on wages and equipment. Barsness indicated she spoke with the Secretary
of State and they feel it is reasonable for a polling place to serve
1,000-1,200 voters. Currently each city polling place has between 411 to 602
pointed out the County would be purchasing the machines and the equipment is
managed in their office. The savings for the city would come in the form of
wages. Barsness added that because of no excuse absentee ballot voting they
have seen an increase in people voting beforehand. The new machines would be
far more user friendly and election judge friendly. Barsness stated at this
point the city would need to decide if they would be willing to combine polling
locations and it could be done by resolution. Barsness suggested combining
precincts 1A & 2A, 1B & 2B, 3A & 3B. Barsness noted she feels this
scenario would serve the voters without overpopulating these precincts.
stated the city has the option to redistrict up to 90 days prior to the primary
election but she is not recommending that at this time. The combined polling
locations would be the best first step. Barsness explained that the City of
Morris is not an option for mail in ballots because of the limit that you can't
have over 400 registered voters in order to do that.
Manager Hill stated when he came to Morris he was surprised to see there were
six voting precincts. Hill indicated is it hard to staff a voting place and
believes the future of voting is that less and less people will come to the
polls. Hill suggested getting rid of the University as a polling place because
a polling place should be readily accessible and comfortable to get in and out
of and they have no parking. Hill stated the Armory would be a good option.
Hill noted after the 2020 census takes place the city can look at some
redistricting. Hill pointed out that there needs to be a better job of getting
people to register before Election Day.
added that the new E-poll books would make the process much quicker. Barsness
stated the City of Morris does need new election equipment and the voters would
be better served with the new machines. Each machine costs between $5,400 and
was the consensus of the council that they were comfortable with the reduction
in polling places and that the new machines sounded like a good idea.
member Wohlers moved, seconded by Miller, to move forward with combining of the
voting precincts and to reduce the number of polling places from six down to
three. Motion carried.
Mayor Giese added an Application for Exempt Permit from the 9-F Club to the
AND APPROVAL OF MINUTES: 11/14/17 Regular Meeting Minutes: Council
member Miller moved, seconded by Gullickson, to approve the 11/14/17 regular
meeting minutes. Motion carried.
Council member Wohlers moved, seconded by Mayor Giese, to approve the 11/14/17
condensed version minutes. Motion carried.
Mayor Giese moved, seconded by Council member Miller, to approve the consent
agenda which included the following items:
of City Bills
for Exempt Permit - 9-F Sportsmen's Club of Morris
REQUESTS AND COMMUNICATIONS: None
MANAGER'S REPORTS & RECOMMENDATIONS: City Manager Newsletter: This was
informational for the council.
Giese asked if Brad could take a look at the chairs in the council chambers.
Giese also asked Dittbenner to have the crew remove the leaves at East Side
Construction Progress Report - Water Treatment Facility: This was
informational for the council.
ADJOURNMENT: There being no
further business, Mayor Giese adjourned the meeting at 5:53 p.m.