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North Branch city council member censured for second time in 2023

The North Branch City Council voted to censure council member Kelly Neider for the second time this year during Tuesday’s meeting.

A public hearing was held on Sept. 12 after code of conduct complaints were filed against the counselor.

According to a complaint, a liquor store clerk reported Neider questioning the price of a purchase and going to her car to get the necessary money before telling her that the store is a drain on the city’s budget.

Neider also allegedly said she’d shut the city’s liquor stores down when she became mayor before leaving.

The complaint dates back to July 30.

Liquor store manager Janelle Satt spoke about Neider’s comments during the public hearing.

"Councilmember Neider made statements to a part-time employee in a fashion that made clear her superiority and directly displayed and imbalance of power," Satt said.

Neider took full responsibility for her comments when given the chance to speak.

"I should have talked to the liquor store managers," she said.

On top of the censure, the council voted to suspend Neider from additional liaison responsibilities and duties for the rest of the calendar year.

Neider was previously censured for comments about Water and Lights commissioner and former city councilor Patrick Meacham on May 24.

Meacham’s complaint was in regards to a comment made by Neider that he shouldn’t serve on the commission due to a quote-unquote “personality defect.”

Neider said she was "astounded" when Meacham's complaint was filed, and defended her position during a verbal statement.

"What I said, and I quote: 'What concerns me about that particular attitude ... is that I'd hate to see it carried over to a commission, and I think it lends itself to a personality defect, in my opinion, as far as leadership is concerned,'" Neider said. "That is exactly what I said."

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