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Kassel honored at city council meeting; Sixth Street work to begin

Longtime Board of Adjustments employee Raymond Kassel received a certificate of appreciation from Mayor Lynn Lathrop for his years of service at Monday night’s Nevada City Council meeting.

“I enjoyed working for Nevada and having an influence on the city,” said Kassel after accepting the award.

“Ray’s efforts got me involved with the city, so I want to personally thank him as well,” said Councilman Ray Schwichtenberg as he shook Kassel’s hand.

In the public forum session, Rhonda Applegate of Nevada again read a statement from a frustrated former animal control officer and repeated her stance on animal control.

“We’re killing animals for the mistakes of humans,” said Applegate. “It’s always the fault of humans. We need to punish and restrict them, not the animals.”

When Applegate was notified by Public Safety Director Ricardo Martinez II that she had one minute remaining to speak as per the council’s rules, she stopped to address the council in her own words. Applegate felt that the reiteration of council rules in regards to the length of each speaker to start the meeting, was directed toward her.

“You’re supposed to be representing the people and you’re doing a crappy job,” said Applegate. “You’re trying to control what people say. Kay’s dog should not have been evicted or killed; you people handled it wrong. Good luck, Nevada!”

The incident Applegate referenced occurred in the spring of 2013. According to Martinez, Kay Fleshman’s German Shepherd Lincoln bit a woman who was trying to protect her smaller dog. After being bitten, the woman dropped the dog and Lincoln killed the other animal by biting the neck and shaking its head. Since this was the second biting incident, Lincoln was considered a vicious animal by the city and eventually euthanized by the dog’s breeder.

The third reading of the cat and dog licensing fee passed by a vote of four to one. A fee of $5 per year per animal was agreed upon to help the public safety office identify the owner of animals in the city.

In related news, a motion was passed to seek a proposal from Story County to see what the county could provide to assist Nevada with animal control issues. It was agreed that no action would be taken by council until they hear back from the county or 60 days passes.

In other news, the Community Betterment Committee continues to refine their plans for the City Hall campus. The committee will meet later this month to continue discussions. City staff have already submitted several grant applications to help fund the project.

Elsewhere, Building and Zoning official Shawn Cole reminded council that street work has begun on Sixth Street between U.S. Highway 30 and E Avenue. Local residents and business traffic will be able to pass, but Cole recommended avoiding this area of the street if possible.

Council received positive feedback from citizens who saw articles in the most recent Nevada Journal on both the public safety office’s new patch and the progress of the city’s street work.

Martinez mentioned that Administrative Assistant Cathy Jager has been posting photos of former officers on the department’s Facebook page, where they have received positive feedback from citizens. Martinez feels this is one more way for the police department to distribute information to citizens and wants more citizens to see the department’s Facebook page.

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