Perry City Council member Dean Berkland was sworn into office for the first time Monday night before the mayor and council turned to business at the start of the second half of the second half of the 2015-2016 fiscal year.
Berkland was elected in November in a write-in campaign. He will complete the term of former first ward council member Phil Stone.
Longtime council members Barb Wolling and Chuck Schott were also sworn into office after their successful re-elections, as was Perry Mayor Jay Pattee. All ran unopposed in November.
Among the items of business before the council was the the constitution of the Rental Code Board of Appeals, a recent creation of the revised city rental ordinance.
Following an inspection, a landlord who is ordered by the city to repair or demolish a property can appeal the order to the Rental Code Board of Appeal, whose five members must consist of at least one but not more than two landlords, according to chapter 156 of the city’s code of ordinances.
The board will “hear and decide appeals of orders, decisions or determinations made by the designated official relative to the application and interpretation of the City of Perry Rental Code,” according to the ordinance. Board members must live in Perry.
The two landlords composing the board’s first membership are Ronald Thielen, 1502 16th St., and Robert Nevitt, 2202 Otley Ave. Both owners of rental properties in Perry were appointed by the city council to three-year terms expiring Dec. 31, 2018.
The board’s other members are two-year appointees Lori Meinecke, 1010 15th St., and April Tierney, 1703 Vine St. Eric Vaughn, 1524 Warford St., was appointed to a one-year term.
In other first-of-the-year council business, Schott was appointed mayor pro-tem for 2016. Carolyn McNeill of Perry was appointed to the Perry Day Care Inc. Board and the Dallas County Early Childhood Education Board for 2016. Matt McDevitt of Perry was given a four-year appointment as the city of Perry’s representative to the Dallas County Local Housing Trust Fund Inc. Board.
The question arose of renewing the city’s Federal Migratory Bird Depredation Permit, used for the past three years to cull turkey vultures, whose carcasses have been used with some success to ward off flocks of roosting turkey vultures.
The ensuing discussion brought forth several ideas for approaching the persistent problem of nesting turkey cultures. Perry Police Chief Eric Vaughn said he admired the goose canon at use at the Perry Municipal Airport. He also suggested using a loudspeaker system to frighten the birds away.
Perry City Council member Dr. Randy McCaulley, who with Schott made a special study of the birds prior to the first application for a permit, said the recorded cries of a great horned owl might deter the roosting carrion eaters. Schott said a system of pulleys might simplify the hanging of carcasses.