Town Council discusses town's Facebook


August 8, 2019

Victoria Smithey/Pine Bluffs Post

Above: Members of the Town of Pine Bluffs town council discuss items on the agenda including a pole barn, illegal items in the dumpsters, Facebook and more. Pictured are Janna Kestner, Michael (Bubba) Ragsdale, Carleen Graves, Kim Patterson, and Mayor Alan Curtis

A pole barn on 6th Street and the moving of the Main Street railroad crossing to Butler Street for the proposed Golden Prairie Plat was first on the agenda for the August 5, town council meeting in Pine Bluffs.

Councilman Bubba Ragsdale, who is also the new landfill manager, would like residents to know that tires and solvents thrown into the dumpsters will no longer be tolerated. If these items are found in your trash they will be returned to you. Ragsdale would like to point out to residents that there are several options for getting rid of these items. For solvents including paint Ragsdale suggests adding cat litter or cement and allowing it to dry before disposing of it in your trash. For tires there are a couple options open to residents. If you are unable to deliver your tires come to town hall and request a disposal ticket. There is a fee to pay and someone will come and pick up your tires for you. If you are able to deliver your tires to be disposed of the local Sinclair and Bluffs Car Care will dispose of your tires for you for a small fee.

One local family has requested to place a bench in the Pine Bluffs Cemetery on the plot adjacent to their loved one. Council decided that the plot would need to be purchased like any other plot in order for said bench to be placed there. Council would like to see the design of the bench to determine long term maintenance needs for the area, but have no other objections.

Councilwoman Janna Kestner opened a discussion to possibly change the Pine Bluffs Recreation Facebook page to a Town of Pine Bluffs page. Her motivation is to have a place where townspeople can go for information that they may need. "People my age and younger who don't read the paper, who don't come to town hall to pay their bill, or who aren't participating in recreation and don't want to be part of the recreation page, but want access to town events, emergencies, public works, and voting. Just some way that could hopefully get more people involved and aware about town proceedings. Sort of that drive for transparency that I have been wanting for sometime." Kestner stated.

Although council seemed to be at odds as this sparked another discussion by a couple of the council members who desire to see names and infractions of local residents cited by police in the paper. Councilman Tom Mohren, who has pushed this particular issue in the past raised the question. "Could you put the police report on that [Facebook] because it's open record, and since the Post doesn't want to advertise it why can't we put it on the police report on Facebook?" Chief of Police Justin Trout, who has rallied against this in the past stated, "The Pine Bluffs Police Department will continue to write citations according to the scope of the law... there is a difference between the spirit of the law and the letter of the law. I was hired because of my ability to govern with fairness and not heavy handedness. This community does not want a heavy handed police department, and we refuse to publicly humiliate people over minor infractions." Trout later reiterated this statement on his own Facebook page and found an overwhelming outpouring of support for the job that he does in town. Residents who would like their voices to be heard by their elected officials should come to the open town council meetings that are held on the first and third Monday of each month.

Finally, the tree that had been blocking the new stop sign on Maple and 4th has finally been removed clearing the sightline for those coming to the intersection. As some council members have voiced concern over the lack of citations being issued in town especially for speeding and reckless driving, it is suggested that everyone slow down and pay close attention to the speed limits here in town. School is starting soon and residents may want to keep in mind that speeding through a school zone could be costly. Council would like to remind residents that the next council meeting will be held on August 19, 2019, and everyone is encouraged to attend.


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