Firings ahead for city government?New mayor says it’s ‘a possibility’ some top city employees could lose jobs.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
Some top city officials may be out of a job soon, Mayor Ken Tracy said Tuesday.
“That’s a possibility, yeah,” Tracy said. Tracy and the Mitchell City Council discussed the city’s nine top employees, primarily department heads, during a closed-door executive session at the end of Monday night’s meeting. The nine are Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson; Public Works Director Tim McGannon; Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg; Corn Palace Director Mark Schilling; Parks, Recreation and Forestry Director Dusty Rodiek; Senior Services Executive Director Brenda Paradis; Golf and Cemetery Director Kevin Thurman; Human Resources Director Billie Kelly; and City Attorney Randy Stiles.
Wilson said all can be replaced by the mayor at any time and any severance would be determined by the mayor and council. None is under contract; Stiles was, but his contract ended June 30, Wilson said.
On Monday night, Tracy was sworn in as mayor and five members of the council also took the oath of office, including two new councilmen.
The top city employees were not sworn into office at the meeting, however. Instead, the elected officials discussed the employees’ job performance and other issues during the executive session.
Tracy said he wanted “input and thoughts on the department heads” from the councilmen.
“I wanted to get their feelings and input,” he said. “It was mainly for my information for what they thought of our department heads.
“I thought it was very useful,” the mayor added. “I will consider what remarks were made.”
Tracy said he will announce any changes before or during the next council meeting on July 16. The department heads under scrutiny will have a chance to speak with him before anything is determined.
“I think maybe I might visit with some of them after having gotten some feedback from the council and proceed from there.”
The council also discussed negotiations with the unions that represent city employees during the executive session.
Tracy said Stiles wanted to detail the monetary requests of the three unions.
The council wanted to review what they heard, Tracy said.
“They had to discuss it,” he said. “They hashed over some of the requests from the three unions.”
No action was taken and the city’s negotiation team will work with representatives of the unions this year.