Mayor pushes to appoint ‘legal’ city clerk
Tonganoxie could have a new city clerk in early May.
No, current assistant city administrator Kathy Bard, who also is city clerk, isn't planning to leave.
But Mayor Dave Taylor plans to accept applications for a new city clerk when he makes new appointments May 10, just more than a year since he took office.
"What we're going to do is fire the city clerk in May," Taylor said during a phone interview Tuesday. "I hope we'll get some applicants in."
Kansas statute requires that each state municipality have a city clerk.
When longtime clerk Karen Daniels retired last spring, then-mayor John Franiuk made the stipulation that Bard would assume the statutory duties of city clerk when Daniels retired.
Daniels, however, didn't retire until April 30. Mayor Taylor assumed his governmental duties April 14, which brought question as to whether Franiuk's appointment was valid because it officially started during Taylor's term.
"What I'm doing is obeying the law," Taylor said.
City attorney Mike Crow, who did not attend Monday's council meeting because of illness, could not be reached Tuesday for comment on the issue.
But City Administrator Shane Krull on Tuesday said that Crow thought Bard legally was the city clerk.
"Mike has told the council that previously," Krull said. "I know that he's said that Kathy is the city clerk in his opinion."
Although Taylor plans to "fire" Bard from the position, he said she also could apply for the clerk position. Bard still will be on the administrative staff no matter who is appointed as city clerk. "From the job description, she has the position of assistant city administrator, but she's also assigned the duties of city clerk," Krull said.
Therefore, her duties as assistant city administrator would not be affected by a city clerk hire.
Taylor wants to make the hire official as one of his appointments.
"It's open for anyone who wants to apply for the job, she can apply just as well as anyone else," Taylor said.
Although he has no thoughts on a salary at this time, Taylor said he has been in discussion with Krull regarding advertisement. Along with The Mirror, Taylor is looking to advertise in the Lawrence Journal-World and the Kansas City Star. The clerk, however, must be a resident of Leavenworth County.