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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Strickland settlement to be approved

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A settlement between the city of Cherokee and Ron Strickland, the former city manager, has been reached and a payment to Strickland will be approved by the city council, probably at the July 25 meeting.

Questions about the settlement were referred to city attorney Wally Miller, Jr., who said that he could not give details of the settlement because of procedural requirements. But approval of bills by the city council is a matter of public record.

Payment to Strickland approved by the city council will be published when available.

The procedural requirements Miller referred to were contained in Administrative Procedure no. 69 which directs that only "the minimum amount of information about an employee who has left city employment" be released.

The procedure specifically states that "Information about termination is not to be released without a written authorization from the employee."

The Code of Iowa exempts performance evaluations and employee disciplinary hearings from the requirements of the open meetings and open records law.

Ron Strickland began duties as city administrator on May 1, 2003 and resigned in April of 2006 following closed session negotiations.

Strickland's contract came under heavy criticism by citizens because of large increases in base pay and a severance package of a lump sum payment equivalent to six months pay plus six months insurance in the event of involuntary termination of employment.

The fact that a modified severance package was a subject of negotiations indicates that the resignation was not voluntary.

Strickland came under fire for his proposal to eliminate fire department positions and for his termination in March of the deputy city clerk, Diane Cargin, an appointee of the council.

Cargin has subsequently been reinstated with partial back pay as a result of an arbitration procedure.

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