Members of Ste. Genevieve Levee District 3 elected the district’s first female board member in its 45-year history on November 4.
Sue Schweiss, treasurer for the city of Ste. Genevieve, has served as levee district secretary for more than 15 years. She was elected unanimously to replace outgoing member Phil Eydmann.
The board members had previously discussed the possibility of pump station operator Norm Gallup replacing Eydmann if he chose not to take another term. Statutes, however, require ownership of real estate within the borders of the levee district, which made Gallup ineligible.
At the November 4 meeting, Eydmann said he did not wish to serve another term.
“I’m moving to Farmington in a couple of years,” he said. “I won’t have any property in town. And I’m getting older.”
Eydmann had served 12 years on the board.
“We appreciate all the years,” board president Vern Bauman said.
When Bauman called for nominations for the position, board member Tom Okenfuss nominated Schweiss.
“She knows everything we’re doing,” Okenfuss said. “She’s been at every meeting.”
City administrator Martin Toma questioned whether there might be a potential conflict of interest if Schweiss served on the board while also serving in the paid position as board secretary.
“I think it creates a potential for conflict,” Toma said. “There’s no rule against it.”
Schweiss was asked if she would be willing to take the position. She said she would.
“She’ll just have to be careful,” Toma said. “You just approved a treasurer’s report that includes a paycheck to her [$147 for the month]. She can’t vote on that.”
Okenfuss said he was already in the same situation, getting pay from the district for working at the pump station.
It was agreed that avoiding that potential conflict of interest would be easy enough.
“She meets the qualifications,” Toma said. “She’s a resident of the city, and she pays the levee tax.”
“I think she would be an excellent choice,” Bauman said. “She knows as much about this as any of us and knows where all the records are, where all the information is. So she’ll be a great choice.”
See complete story in the November 13 edition of the Herald.