Archive for Wednesday, July 11, 2007

McLouth council vacancy remains

July 11, 2007

The search continues to fill a vacancy on the McLouth City Council.

Mike Graveman, formerly the council president, was appointed the city's mayor on June 19. He replaced former mayor Gary Royer, who said he stepped down for job-related reasons.

Graveman had hoped to appoint Gerald Sullivan to the vacant seat on the council. But Sullivan, who ran unsuccessfully in the April election that attracted eight candidates, declined. Graveman said Sullivan told him he wasn't interested.

"So that puts me back at square one," Graveman said. "I currently don't have anyone in mind."

Sullivan tied with Myra Harwood for the third and final seat during the April 3 election, but Harwood won the seat after provisional ballots were counted. Incumbent Sharon Lobb Johnson and newcomer Charles Karmann were the top two vote-getters.

The council also is searching for a city clerk to replace Ruth Edmonds, who retired June 29 after 17 years with the city.

Council members will review applications for city clerk at the next council meeting, scheduled for Tuesday.

In addition, assistant city clerk Debbie Hansen resigned about two months ago to take another job, but whether that position will be filled is still up in the air, according to Graveman.

"We're searching for a city clerk and then, after that, we could possibly be looking for an assistant city clerk," Graveman said. "I think we need to get a city clerk in before we even look at the assistant city clerk position."

In the absence of a city clerk, Graveman said city manager Carl Chalfant has stepped in to assist temporarily with some of those responsibilities. And, the council hired temp agency Adecco to assist during the transition period.

"Our city manager has stepped up to the plate and helped with a lot of the responsibilities of the clerk and helped us work with this," Graveman said, noting also that the agency was helping with audits so the city could get its 2008 budget ready.

Graveman is optimistic the city will get on track.

"It's certainly a bad time," Graveman said. "If I would have planned this, I wouldn't have planned it all at the same time. But we'll get it all figured out and we'll get through it.

"I think we've got some pretty good employees that are helping us out a lot."

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