On a 3 to 1 vote, the Cherokee City Council decided to begin the process of seeking a city manager.
Dwight Varce, the council member who asked that the matter be put on the agenda, said he was avoiding using the term administrator because of the city's experience with the last two administrators.
"We don't have leadership in the city," Varce said.
The city has operated without a top supervisor for about a year now and has not budgeted for one in the 2007/08 fiscal year beginning July 1.
Varce referred to a statement by an attorney that operating without an administrator is a "lawsuit waiting to happen."
He noted that in his contacts of cities of similar size, all of them had city managers. Varce said that an unfair burden has been placed on Dennis Henrich, the mayor, and Deb Taylor, the city clerk.
"What is not getting done?" Mick Mallory, council member, asked.
Greg Stieneke, council member, said, "If somebody is not doing their job who will tell them to step up to the plate? We need somebody to lead the city."
Mallory indicated that it is up to the council to oversee the various departments. Each department is assigned a liaison.
Norm Rupp, speaking from the audience, asked where the money would come from for the position since it was not budgeted for.
The response was that the money would have to be taken from the department budgets.
Varce stated that they would not need to seek an experienced person for the position, that they could probably get somebody for less than the $70,000 to $80,000 range for the previous person.
Rupp indicated that the people of the town were strongly opposed to the hiring of an administrator. He accused Varce of insulting the mayor by saying the city doesn't have leadership. When Varce denied insulting the mayor, Rupp became belligerent toward Varce.
Varce, Stieneke and Jim Peck voted to take the initial steps toward filling the position. Mallory voted against that motion. Bob Leach said he had to leave the meeting at 9 p.m. He had requested that if a vote was going to be taken on the matter, that it take place before 9 p.m. but the discussion continued past that time.