An opponent of hiring a city manager tried again to divert the city from that course at the Tuesday meeting of the Cherokee City Council.
Mick Mallory noted that the council didn't want to give more compensation to Deb Taylor, city clerk/treasurer, for her extra duties during the absence of a city administrator, so the other council members must not think there is extra work involved.
Mallory noted that in two cities, the city clerk's salary was increased during the absence of a city manager.
Mallory proposed the creation of a new position, a city administrator/city clerk. He initially intended to not bring the matter to a vote until the next city council meeting on May 9, but after opposition for putting it on the agenda for the May 9 meeting, Mallory made the motion at the Tuesday council meeting.
Mallory said that the county does not have an administrator position. He also took issue with a statement at a previous meeting that not having an administrator was a "lawsuit waiting to happen." Mallory indicated that having a city attorney should provide some protection against a lawsuit happening.
"I don't know why we'd put this on the agenda. We decided this two weeks ago," said Bob Leach, council member.
Doug Woods, a former city council member speaking from the audience, said, "It's time that the ship had a captain. The department heads are all very competent but they still need a leader."
The motion to create a new combined position failed on a 3 to 2 vote. Mallory and James Peck voted for the motion. Leach, Dwight Varce and Greg Stieneke voted against the motion.
On a related matter, Mallory quoted Iowa Code regarding adding an agenda item at a meeting. The code allows for adding an agenda item at a meeting for emergency situations but calls for inclusion of all action items in the agenda as given out in advance whenever practical.
Mallory referred to the vote at the April 11 city council meeting on seeking a new city manager, a vote that was not announced prior to the date of the meeting. He said that since the city had gone without that position for some time, he didn't feel it was an emergency.