February 18, 2008 - Special





Mayor Steve Fennewald called the special meeting to order at 6:58 p.m. Present were Council Members Terry Johnson, Blaine Klein, Dana Larsen, Kevin Nelsen, Jarvis Sasse and Laura Volk.  Also present were Auditor Elaine Christianson, Deputy Auditor Rosemary McNamara, and Police Chief Brad Seideman.


The special meeting was held to discuss the Auditor position.  Auditor Christianson had turned in her resignation effective February 27, 2008.  Mayor Fennewald and Council Member Volk met with her and requested she submit to council a proposal offering the conditions under which she would continue as City Auditor.  In discussions between the Mayor and Auditor Christainson held prior to this meeting, Christianson agreed to temporarily withdraw her resignation for a period of 45 days in order to give council the opportunity to make an informed and considered counter-offer.


Christainson addressed the council, giving an example of how she acts as a point-of-contact for city business, regardless of which department is involved.  The Auditor is the most accessible person for the public and is therefore called upon by residents to make decisions and act upon information in a timely manner. When a resident contacts the Auditor with a problem, often her position does not have the authority to take the steps necessary to resolve the problem. She proposed council create the position of Auditor/Administrator and stated her willingness to work with Council towards a resolution.


Lengthy discussion was held regarding the administration of the three city departments (Public Works, Police, Auditor), departmental procedure and oversight, and to whom department heads should be accountable.  Discussion continued on whether council should meet twice a month, the role of the Mayor and council committees, city staffing and salaries.


Mayor Fennewald appointed a committee of Volk, Nelsen, and Fennewald to meet on Monday the 25th of February at 7 pm to discuss the positions of auditor and administrator, including a review of the auditor’s salary, and make a recommendation to the council on how the city should proceed.   


No other business to discuss, motion to adjourn by Larsen.  Second by Volk.  All aye, meeting adjourned at 7:56 p.m.