Archive for Wednesday, March 31, 2004

City seeks applicants for clerk’s position

Current city clerk uncertain whether she’ll apply for job

March 31, 2004

At the request of Mayor Dave Taylor, City Administrator Shane Krull placed advertisements in local newspapers for the position of city clerk Tuesday.

But current assistant city administrator Kathy Bard, who also holds the title of city clerk, might not apply.

Bard wants to wait for the city council's decision on whether the governing body wants to appoint a separate city clerk.

"Depending on the outcome of the council's decision will determine whether to apply for the position or not," Bard said Monday. "I'm not saying I will."

The assistant city administrator also is waiting to see what the position will entail.

"If they hire somebody in here to do the job I'm doing, there's no reason for me to stay," Bard said. "It depends on what the city clerk is going to do."

Krull said last week that Bard's job description is that of assistant city administrator, but she also is assigned duties of city clerk.

The situation first became an issue last spring when a new mayor and council took office.

Former Mayor John Franiuk and the previous council, which included current members Kathy Graveman, Steve Gumm and Emmett Wetta, approved Kathy Bard's appointment as city clerk last March, pending Karen Daniels' retirement.

Bard was chosen to replace Daniels, the city's longtime clerk. However, Daniels didn't retire until April 30.

Meanwhile, the new city council, which included freshly elected Taylor and members Velda Roberts and Ron Cranor, began their terms April 14.

Each May, the council makes appointments for such statutory positions as city clerk, county attorney and municipal judge, but Taylor did not appoint a city clerk at that time.

On Monday, Taylor said he tried at his third council meeting as mayor of Tonganoxie to appoint Bard as city clerk.

"She yelled out, 'I've got a job,' so that ended that," Taylor said. "I never said she couldn't have a job. I offered her the job."

While Taylor said he wants to make his own appointment as a city clerk, he also said Bard could be his choice.

"I might do that," he said.

Also on Monday, Taylor clarified comments attributed to him last week in The Mirror. He said his aim was not to fire the city clerk, but to make his own appointment.

City attorney Mike Crow said it's his opinion that Bard is the legal city clerk until Taylor appoints -- with council approval -- a city clerk during his term as mayor.

"In my opinion, that appointment only lasted until the first meeting of May 2003 and that was it," Crow said, referring to Franiuk's decision. "Kathy Bard was not reappointed at that time as city clerk.

"Therefore, she is a holdover, for lack of a better term, a holdover."

Crow went on to say that the appointee in that position remains in the position until another person gains council approval and the mayor's appointment.

Also, the mayor could have made his appointment for the "holdover" position -- with council approval -- at any time during the year, according to Crow.

Taylor said last week that he was abiding by the law in seeking to make his own appointment, but that Bard was welcome to apply for the position.

According to the city clerk advertisement, the city will begin reviewing resumes April 21.

The council's next meeting is April 12.

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