To The Editor:


Get What???

Start collecting anything you can find that has “City of Ely” on it, such as tee shirts, magazines, hats, “Welcome to the City of Ely” signs, anything you can find, buy it, trade for it, steal it, because it sure sounds like the City of Ely is going down.

The current Mayor, City Council are the cause, but don’t forget that past Council member’s Dale Derbidge, Marty Westlund and Bruce Setterstom got the ball rolling.

Let’s look at the current Council; Jolene Gardner, started her career with the City of Ely as a parking meter reader, in 20 years she worked her way up to Senior Billing Clerk at City Hall.  She had a reputation as being tough, right to the point and outspoken to the leaders of the City during her time employed with the City.

I personally know, we locked horns several times. I would be willing to guess she was elected to the Council by citizens figuring she would stand up against dirty politics; the good old boy’s and would vote for what was best for the citizens, employees and the good name of the City.


Next comes Sam Hanson, well educated, well dressed and well spoken.

He is the lone survivor of the previous City Council, I believe it’s hard for him to understand what his responsibility is on the Council and he can’t make tough decisions or have the ability to use common sense.  I am sure he is reminded every time he walks out of his home he is still in violation of City Ordinances on the failure to complete the curb and gutter around his property.

As the saying goes, “Clothes don’t make the man.”

Ok, Ernie Flangas you’re up. As a lifelong resident of the City you had the guts to run for election and by gosh you won.  Elected for the same reason Jolene was, people thought you would make a difference.


Stand up and be heard, if your brother Bill was still alive, he would be giving you holy hell, GET IN THE GAME!

Newcomer to the City is Tony DeFelice, he loves the area and invested money into a business, wanted to make a difference, be involved, so he ran for a Council seat, got it and now is probably wondering what the heck did I get into?

You got yourself into a big mess my man!  Ely will always be Ely, but will not be “City of Ely” if changes are not made FAST!

Kurt Carson, admits he voted on a few items that helped get this City into this mess; however he admits it and is struggling to get the other Council members to make changes needed to correct these problems.

Kurt was accused by some fellow Council Members of trying to run the City like a business.  What the heck?  To be continued…..

Jim Alworth

To The Editor:

On the City Council’s agenda for February 8, 2018 item 8 C#5 where Robert Switzer is proposing to have a reduction in force in the General Fund to cut expenses, needs to have more realistic thought put into it to make it work.

I would like to know why Robert is looking at cutting the dedicated hard working city employees jobs or cutting back on their hours when it isn’t their fault the city finances were run into the dirt by the administration. I think the Mayor and City Council needs to look at other alternatives in saving monies in the General Fund.

Some food for thought for the Mayor and City Council is, you people helped put the City in the financial condition it is in so all of you should look at giving up your pay as Mayor and City Council for the next 5 months which would save the City over $18,000 in itself. You need to seriously look at shutting down the recycling plant until the General Fund recuperates.

With Robert’s plan on a reduction in force you are going to be short handed in manpower in the General Fund to operate the Recycling Center and if you use the Landfill Crew or the Street Department you are going to have to reimburse any of these non General Fund employees for their time, so you won’t be saving monies in the General Fund. You can’t keep on using the Street Department as they have too much work that needs to be done on the streets and don’t have the time to work the Recycling Center. Even before you have your reduction in force you used the Street Department 5 times in January when they should have been removing snow off the streets.

Another way to save money is to make the Deputy City Clerk an exempt employee and you won’t have to pay her overtime to attend the Council Meetings and you won’t have to move the meeting date and time. Lay off the City Administrator and split the work between the Deputy City Clerk and the City Treasurer. This would save you close to over $100,000 with his wages and benefits. Cut the City Attorney back to a part time employee and cut his wages accordingly. Take away the Attorneys million dollar life insurance policy and make him have the same life insurance policy as the rest of the city employees. Cut the City Engineer back to a part time position as you can’t afford to do any work so why pay him close to the $150,000 to $200,000 per year you have been paying him. You could do away with the Municipal Judge and his 2 clerks and have the Justice of the Peace handle all the City’s court cases. What you are paying for wages and benefits for Muni Court would make up what you would be losing in fines.

YES THESE ARE HARSH CUTS, but this is what has to be done if you are going to be serious in trying to keep the City out of being placed under financial stewardship.The residents of the City of Ely needs to speak up and make sure the Mayor and City Council does whatever it takes to make sure they make the necessary cuts to put the General Fund back in the black and to make sure the end fund balance has the required balance in it by June 30, 2018 or the City will be placed in financial stewardship and the City of Ely will no longer exist.

Rick Stork

City of Ely Resident