The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

April 9, 2013

Council debates own rights, punishments

(Continued)

"I was under the impression that this was going to address also the city clerk and city attorney, the people the council has control over," Weller said. "Why are we singling out the city administrator position and not all three? ... I think it's wrong we're talking about only Joe's job. It gives off the wrong impression."

Keith said the distinction lies in that the administrator has direct supervision over the attorney and clerk, "so there's a little bit of a layer of insulation between the council and those two positions."

"Over the past many years, there have been comments made that, 'Hey, city administrator, I've got three votes so you better work with me,'" Meyers said.

While Niner previously told the Courier that he has said this to Helfenberger, he said he would never think of actually firing him.

Morgan, Weller and Niner said the 3-2 rule should stand, as future councils can always change it if they want in order to fire or not fire the administrator.

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