The Superior City Council unanimously approved Camila Ramos’ appointment as city clerk during the meeting Tuesday, July 6.
Ramos brings 16 years of experience to the post and has served as Superior’s elections clerk since 2016. The appointment will be effective Sept. 1, which will allow time for her to train with current Clerk Terri Kalan.
Mayor Jim Paine praised the entire clerk’s office for its work during the fall election.
“But I just want to remind you of just how chaotic the spring of 2020 was … You all know Camila pretty well, try to remember the outstanding work that she did literally surrounded by mountains of absentee ballots as the election, everything we know about elections, changed literally overnight, then again, then again, then again,” he told the council. “She weathered all this. She’s going to make a great city clerk.”
City awards historic property designation
The council also designated its first historic preservation property, a two-story brick home at 1011 Weeks Ave. The house is over a century old and was nominated based on its history as a nursing school and its architectural significance.
The earliest deed found for the property dates back to 1890, according to an application by owners Bobbie Morningstar and Keith Hoffman. The building served as a parsonage for the Swedish Evangelical Church next door in 1906 and was deeded to the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ in 1930 to house students from St. Mary’s School of Nursing.
Housing coordinator and planner Jeff Skrenes said local designation of historical preservation properties has been in the city’s code for a long time. Until last year, however, there had been no application process in place for an owner to register their home or site as a historic resource.
“I had thought that the first applicants would be the Fairlawn or the whaleback (SS Meteor), some of our local items that we co-own and manage and just would have been low-hanging fruit,” Skrenes said. “But before they finished their work on those application documents, just a regular private resident who saw the value in having her home recognized and preserved as a historic resource, she was the first one to do it, and I think that just speaks volumes about the value of this designation and where we can go with it as a city.”
He appealed to the council for help pinpointing resources like the Douglas County Historical Society that can help owners research their property’s history.
As city offices have moved over the years, Skrenes said, officials have done a poor job of records retention. Many of the documents and resources that people would typically search for, such as original building permits or early assessor documents, were not retained or digitized.
“They just don’t exist, at least in a readily accessible way that many people would expect to use, to find out about the historic nature of their property,” Skrenes said.
In other business
The council approved a 20-year lease with Superior Flying Services, LLC for hangar and office space at the city’s Richard I. Bong Memorial Airport.
Mayor Paine gave the council an update on the state budget, and the Legislature’s repeal of the personal property tax. That bill has implications for the city, he told the council, and it could threaten terminal taxes in the state.
The mayor said he plans to ask the council to renew the city’s contract with Capital Consultants, a lobbying firm that the city has worked with previously, at a future meeting. Officials allowed the contract to lapse at the end of 2020, the mayor said, but there are funds set aside so it could be renewed at little cost to the city.