Cop called in fight over where council members sit

It’s awfully hard to look up to our leaders when they look like little children. My apologies to any children who were just offended by a comparison to the Grant (Washington County) City Council, which might be suitably embarrassed by what the Pioneer Press says happened at a meeting last week. But perhaps not.

A cop had to be called because council member Loren Sederstrom was sitting in colleague Tina Lobin’s seat, the paper says.

“He wouldn’t leave the seat — that’s Tina’s seat,” Mayor Thomas Carr said.

If you’ve got more than one child, you’re probably familiar with how this progresses.

Sederstrom said he switched seats to get away from Huber, who usually sits to his right at the council table. At the Oct. 6 meeting, Sederstrom said, Huber elbowed him.

He said that elbow amounted to an assault. Sederstrom said he even filed a police report, although no charges were filed.

“If they would sit me next to Larry Lanoux, where I don’t have to worry about my safety, there would be no problem,” Sederstrom said.

Huber countered he was protecting his face and arms from Sederstrom that night.

His fellow council member “was quite aggressive in his arm movements,” Huber said.

“There was a deputy there that night, and I don’t know of any law enforcement official who would witness an assault, as Mr. Sederstrom characterizes it, and would just do nothing.”

It wasn’t the first fight. Last month a council member sat in a different seat, so three council members refused to sit down. They stood up for the entire meeting.

“We weren’t going to sit down … because you just don’t do something like that,” he said.

“The issue is, Loren is a junior city council member, and he’s bumping a senior city council member out of her chair. You just can’t move. You can’t just do whatever you want in a city council chamber.”

The council tried to defuse Tuesday’s impasse first with a 3-2 vote to have Sederstrom move back to his “original chair that he has had for the past 10 months,” Carr said.

There’s no formal seating policy in effect.