A majority of Spencer City Council members on Monday night voted against making a change to Spencer Municipal Golf Course Board member residency requirements that would have allowed some board members to serve without living in Spencer.
Golf course board members must live within the city of Spencer, but the board had requested the council ease that requirement.
The board recently had a member move away. A person who lives outside the city and is a member of the golf course was interested, but the residency requirement would have needed to change to allow them to serve.
The council voted 4-2 against making the changes. Council members Steve Bomgaars, Leann Jacobsen, Ron Hanson and George Moriarty voted against lifting the residency requirement, while Bill Orrison and Rich Prentice voted in favor.
“When we changed the residency requirement (Spencer Municipal Utilities) board I was opposed to that for a lot of different reasons and I’m opposed to this for those same reasons,” councilman Steve Bomgaars said. “I think that people, regardless of how qualified they may be, should be residents of Spencer. I think that belonging to the golf course is great, but I think that they should be vested in the city of Spencer. And – not that they aren’t qualified at all – so I’ll be voting against it for that reason and others as well.”
Before the vote, Moriarty asked f there were any residency limitations at all in the amendment. Specifically, he asked if there was language in the text that stated board members should at least live in Clay County.
“Or can they be from Podunk Junction in Minnesota if they want to be a (board) member?” he asked.
City Attorney Don Hemphill said the only limitation in the drafted amendment is that no more than two board members could reside outside Spencer.
Hanson said the golf course should be able to find somebody from Spencer who golfs out there and would want to serve on the board.
“I just think we’re going down a slippery road if we start changing this and moving down the road,” Hanson said.