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The buttons and proclamations are available at the city office, a perfect addition for under the Christmas tree.

Outgoing Nevis mayor granting 'pardons' for stoplight, roundabout violations and jaywalking

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Nevis mayor Dave McCurnin bid farewell to council members and the electorate this week, but not before issuing a "proclamation."

For a five-buck fee, the lame duck will grant a suitable-for-framing pardon or amnesty, depending on the "crime," and issue a certificate and a button, declaring the reprieve.

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The egregious offenses covered by the edict include violations related to tollbooths, parking meters, stoplights and railroad crossings; jaywalking and failure to yield at the roundabout.

McCurnin pointed out he's following a precedent established by U.S. presidents who've issued more than 20,000 of the dubious decrees - "Jimmy Hoffa, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton's brother, just to name a few."

It's a little known law that mayors can grant executive clemency, he said (overshooting the constitutional parameters slightly). "They're for sale, at $5 each," he said, adding all proceeds will be deposited in the C&C coffers, to be used for developing a sledding hill for kids in Nevis.

The mayor issued the first document to the pigs that arrive from Leader for the summertime races. They have been granted a "stay of execution."

The buttons and documents, witnessed by R.U. Kidding, are available at the city office.

On a serious note, McCurnin thanked city employees.

"The books always balance. Don (Umthun) takes care of the streets morning, noon and night. I can't say how much we appreciate that."

He acknowledged outgoing council member Karl Dierkhising's eight years of service to the city.

And he thanked fire chief Kerry Swenson and deputy Jeff Stacey "for all you do."

Incoming mayor Paul Schroeder reciprocated the sentiment to McCurnin, noting, "Everything you've done is for the betterment of the city."

McCurnin said he intends to remain active in the community, orchestrating the first '50s and '60s music festival in June and rounding up pigs for the third annual Nevis races in July.

In other action, the council:

n Adopted the $212,278 property tax levy and general fund budget for 2011.

Of the total, $200,271 was budgeted for the general fund with $76,103 for general government, $56,076 streets, $48,065 police (deputy) and $20,027 for parks. The fire levy totals $12,007.

n Agreed to speak with the DNR regarding snowmobile speed limits within the city, specifically from 3rd Avenue to Village Road.

Council member Heidi Schmeichel made the suggestion, asking for a 15 to 20 mph limit within the city. "I almost got run over," she said.

Dierkhising, as a member of the Nevis Trailblazers, said he would follow up on the matter.

n Agreed to advertise the liquor store manager's position, with a salary range of $30,000 to $35,000.

n Reported liquor store earnings of $533 in November, $18,954 year to date.

Acting liquor store manager and council member Cammy Johnson reported snacks and hors d'oeuvres will be served at the New Year's Eve party and there will be karaoke the evening of New Year's Day.

n Approved donating the hovercraft the Nevis Fire Department received from Ken "Kenny" Thompson to the county due to space constraints at the fire hall.

Thompson, his son and son's girlfriend were rescued from Island Lake after the hovercraft sank. The Lakes Area Dive Team subsequently retrieved it.

Swenson estimated a cost of $200 to repair the motor due to water damage.

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