The Eau Claire City Council's Tuesday, June 12, meeting began with a surprise announcement that City Council President Kerry Kincaid had resigned. City Manager Dale Peters read from Kincaid's resignation letter: “On this day, and effective immediately, I find it necessary to resign my position as City Council President as it has become impossible to govern in a manner befitting a city that works, and to which the public has become accustomed.”
In its story on the resignation, the Leader-Telegram quoted Kincaid: “It’s been a long year,” she said in an interview, her only public comment about the resignation, “A lady knows when it’s time to leave.”
Kincaid had been a member of the City Council since 2004. She was elected Council President in 2009 and re-elected in 2012, 2014 and 2017, the last time unopposed. Since her term doesn't expire until 2020, state law requires that a special election be held no later than April 2019 to fill the remainder of the term. The Council's five at-large seats will also be on the ballot in 2019 for three-year terms. The Council has a total of 11 members. The five district positions were elected this spring.
Kincaid's tenure as Council President will likely most be remembered for the City's role in the development of the Confluence Project, the final piece of which will open in September.
Council Vice Chair Andrew Werthmann conducted the meeting in the absence of a Council President.
Food Truck Fridays, "Oxbeaux" street concert approved
During its business agenda, the Council last week approved Volume One's plans to conduct monthly "Food Truck Fridays" at the "Railroad Street Lot" along the Eau Claire River, between Barstow and Farwell streets behind Galloway Grille. It also approved a three-year agreement with the Oxbow Hotel for its "Oxbeaux Street Concert" on the Thursday evening immediately before the Eaux Claires Festival, which will be July 5 this year. The event will close one block of Galloway Street and contain the event within a secure, fenced area. One significant change from 2017 is that the City’s open intoxicants ordinance will not apply to the closed portion of Galloway during the event "due to the unique situation in which the same entity controls the property on both sides of the street, a complete closure of the street and other factors." During last year's event, the city prohibited alcohol on the closed portion of Galloway Street. The sponsors will be responsible to the city for all costs associated with safety, detours and other aspects of closing the street.
More information: Council president quits: Year of turmoil, radical change in council makeup may have played role (Leader-Telegram), Eau Claire City Council President Kerry Kincaid Abruptly Steps Down (Volume One), Some members unaware before resignation by Eau Claire City Council president (WEAU TV 13 News), New ‘Food Truck Friday’ Series set to launch in July (Volume One), Eau Claire City Council approves Oxbeaux's request for street closure (WQOW TV 18).
Meeting details: Link to Valley Media Works video recording, full Council packet with agenda