City Council

The chairman of the Utility and Infrastructure Board said the city council will discuss a resolution requesting the removal of a falsified document that was submitted into the public record by Councilmember Susan Jacobus.

Alan Sawtelle said he spoke with Mayor Scott Getzschman and said in a future meeting, the council will discuss the resolution, which was passed and approved by the IUB on July 30.

“They either vote to pursue it, or if she has enough votes or the council thinks that it’s a waste of time, then they will probably vote not to pursue it,” he said. “But an attorney could take a deposition, and she would have to tell the truth then, I guess.”

The document in question concerns Alan Fanning, who lives just east of Fremont. He submitted a request earlier this year to waive his fee of $4,500 to connect to the city’s sewer system and argued that since Don Peterson & Associates was developing SunRidge Place nearby, he could be connected.

Jacobus said she had picked up a document at the UIB’s May 14 meeting stating that Assistant City Administrator of Utilities Troy Schaben waived the sewer connection fee of Alan Fanning.

Fanning said up until this point, Schaben seemed to be in favor of his waiver, something he felt had changed during this meeting.

“[Jacobus] handed me that piece of paper, and I read it, and it looked authentic to me, and what it basically said was it was dated such that when Troy Schaben originally got my request, he approved it,” he said. “And that’s what the piece of paper said.”

Sawtelle said the board had not come to a decision at that meeting and that Fanning had requested for a policy revision to allow him to connect his sewer line.

In the meantime, Sawtelle said Schaben put out a memo that the request was denied and that it would go to further study. At the June 11 meeting, Jacobus presented the same memo, but it said that Fanning’s request was approved.

Sawtelle claims that the font used was different and that Schaben denied writing the document during the meeting.

“So we asked Susan, ‘Where’d you get it?’” Sawtelle said. “And she goes, ‘Oh, some guy out in the hall, I don’t know who he was, gave it to me when I walked into your meeting.’ Well, I don’t believe that.”

Jacobus presented the document at the June 11 city council meeting, which led to the UIB’s resolution the next month. She claims there was no reason for her to have questioned the document’s origin.

“I had presented it to the City Council thinking it was the exact thing that Troy Schaben had presented at a prior meeting and had no knowledge that it was any different,” Jacobus said.

But Sawtelle claims that Jacobus had presented the document as the truth after the board had told her that it wasn’t.

“In my opinion, some unknown man didn’t walk up and say, ‘Here’s this document,’” he said. “So there’s something fishy. So that’s what my board decided to do, is write that resolution, have it investigated and see where it came from.”

Jacobus said she didn’t know if she was supposed to have obtained the document during the May 14 meeting.

“The verbiage on the second page that has some of the history or some of the information concerning the city and some of the concerns are pretty much verbatim what Troy Schaben had gone to,” she said. “I don’t know if these were talking points that were left or laid down and I shouldn’t have picked up, but I didn’t know that they weren’t just what everybody else had.”

The issue between the conflicting documents came from the word “consider,” she said, as one said to approve and the other said to consider approval.

“The problem is that this is a document that was presented at a prior utility board meeting, I had written on it and I’m not sure who had it initially or how I obtained it, because I obtain a lot of pieces of paper when I’m at meetings,” Jacobus said. “So I had it, and not realizing there was a word difference from what was presented at a council meeting later.”

Jacobus also dismissed the resolution and called it a “non-issue,” as Fanning is no longer seeking a waiver.

“It’s not an issue when it comes to a public document because it’s already been in the public and presented to the public and it’s already been received,” she said. “So I don’t really know how we can redact a document if it’s already a public document.”

Jacobus said she believed the resolution was a personal issue and that the IUB has ill will toward her as she presented to have City Administrator Brian Newton dismissed last December.

“It’s personal, but I’m not treating it as personal just because when you’re sitting in my seat, you’re expected to take some heat.”

Sawtelle said the UIB feels it would be complacent if it said that document was acceptable.

“We just, as a board, want to find out where it came from, who wrote it and the truth behind it,” he said.

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