Holiday Island upgrades from town to city
Holiday Island is officially a city.
In a press release issued March 22, Mayor Dan Kees writes that the newly incorporated town was recently upgraded to a city of the second class. Kees writes that Holiday Island was initially incorporated as a town even though its population was sufficient to qualify as a city. A city of the second class must elect council members by ward, Kees writes, and wards must be established by an ordinance passed by the city council.
"But since Holiday Island was not yet incorporated, there was no council to pass such an ordinance," Kees writes. "Consequently, the members of the community who were pursuing incorporation were advised to incorporate as a town and elect council members at large."
Then, Kees writes, Holiday Island could request an upgrade from town to city. That request has been submitted, Kees writes, and the council's next step is to determine ward boundaries and approve an ordinance establishing the wards. A new council will be elected in 2022, Kees writes, with two council members representing each ward.
"It is anticipated that Holiday Island will have three wards," Kees writes. "This is just one more step in the extensive process of setting up a city from scratch. There's still a lot to do, but we are making significant progress."
In a phone interview Monday, Kees said the upgrade from town to city "really doesn't mean much at all" from a practical standpoint.
"The requirements for an incorporated town and the city of the second class are almost identical," Kees said. "Our responsibilities are almost identical to what they were when we were a town. About the only real advantage is that we can call ourselves a city instead of a town, and people would rather be a city — it just sounds more permanent."
Kees said the Holiday Island City Council has been busy over the past few months passing several resolutions to take care of bookkeeping issues like setting up bank accounts and establishing meeting procedures. Kees said the council has "probably passed about 20 resolutions just to get the fundamentals established."
"We just recently passed our first actual ordinance which authorized the city to appoint a city attorney instead of electing one, and we're getting our office set up," Kees said. "We have limited financial resources right now, so we're kind of doing it as we can afford it."
Within the next month, Kees said, the office should be fully set up. Kees advised interested citizens to visit the city's website at www.CityOfHolidayIsland.com to view resolutions, meeting minutes and other important information. Kees said the council will soon work on "the actual code enforcement part of being a city," like trash collection, animal control and handling nuisance properties.
"It's going smooth. We're kind of keeping a low profile, but we didn't intend to upset the apple cart," Kees said. "We're going to take things slow and easy."