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Despite rebuke, Christmas event still on the books


An event that drew a rebuke by the Electric City Council against one of its members is still on the books.

Councilmember Birdie Hensley was officially warned last month for presuming to speak for the city when she and fellow Councilmember Lonna Bussert proposed a Christmas event at North Dam Park.

The reprimand stuck on Hensley, who took the blame for proposing an event without clearing it with the full council. On Sept. 13, the council issued Hensley the rebuke, overlooking Bussert’s part in the planning for the Christmas event.

Hensley got her reprimand letter at last Tuesday night’s council meeting, but she wasn’t on hand to receive it; she was on vacation, and the council started the meeting by excusing her from being there.

But the Christmas event is still on, now officially proposed by Bussert, who also was not at the meeting in person but attended a portion of it by phone.

Her proposal calls for a fundraiser for city parks on Nov. 26 at North Dam Park, sponsored by a variety of clubs and organizations. She wasn’t specific as to who the sponsoring parties might be. Funds would come from a drawing for a bicycle. Tickets for the drawing would be sold by the organizations, who would take part in a Christmas lighting at the park, all part of the proposed event.

Plans put before the council were still sketchy, but the council voted $50 of city funds to help the event along.

The letter of reprimand made by the overall council was for Hensley’s violation of rule 14, which states: “Council members shall not act ultra vires, or outside the scope of their authority and duties as council members.”

Electric City will not be the official sponsor of the event, but any proceeds will benefit the city’s parks.

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