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Argument heats up at city hall

By Staff | Aug 10, 2014

An altercation between two Blue Earth citizens as they exited the City Council meeting last Monday night resulted in the meeting being halted and the police called in to restore order.

The incident happened after two men, Dick LaMont and Gary Sunken, had an argument during the meeting and were asked by Mayor Rick Scholtes to leave the council chambers.

On their way down the hall outside the meeting room, the argument could be heard to escalate further and then turned into a physical confrontation.

Scholtes stopped the meeting and members of the council and the press went to break up the altercation and the police were then called in.

It all started after LaMont addressed the council during the meeting at a time set aside for the public to do so.

He asked about possible changes to the city’s zoning ordinance, specifically where it addressed the B-1 designation along both Highway 169 and Highway 16.

LaMont explained how the area contains both businesses and homes and said that has become more of an issue lately, due to businesses stockpiling materials.

He cited one business in particular, Sunken’s G&S Drainage.

Sunken, who was also at the meeting, disputed what LaMont had said and the discussion quickly heated up into a loud argument before the mayor brought order back to the meeting.

That was when the men left the room, still arguing.

Before the police arrived, LaMont had left the building. Sunken was slightly injured in the confrontation and was attended to by the police.

Much later in the meeting, LaMont came back and apologized to the council for his actions and explained that the two men had shoved each other and Sunken had tripped over a rug and fallen.

After LaMont had addressed the council and before the fight in the hallway council members had agreed that it was time to take another look at the zoning ordinance and do an update on it.

The zoning committee had not met in quite a while, city attorney David Frundt said, and they could certainly take a look at the issues involved and determine if any changes were needed.