MINUTES FOR THE SPECIAL MEETING
ASHLAND CITY COUNCIL
CALL TO ORDER
November 21, 2016
Civic Center Council Chambers
1175 E. Main Street
Mayor Stromberg called the meeting to order at 8:40 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers.
Councilor Voisin, Morris, Lemhouse, Rosenthal, and Marsh were present. Councilor Seffinger was present via phone.
Councilor Marsh/Voisin m/s to allow Councilor Seffinger to participate in the meeting via phone.
Voice Vote: All AYES. Motion passed.
Mayor Stromberg explained there were two agenda items. The first pertained to the Mayor’s recommendation to terminate the City Administrator’s employment contract and accept his resignation. The second gave guidance to staff on recruitment processes for the Finance Director and new City Administrator depending on the outcome of the first agenda item.
1. Outcomes of City Administrator performance evaluation
Councilor Rosenthal/Marsh m/s that the Council consent to the Mayor’s recommendation to terminate the City Administrator’s February 2012 employment contract and accept Dave Kanner’s resignation with the understanding that such termination invokes the Severance Pay provision of the contract. DISCUSSION:
Councilor Rosenthal explained the City Charter sited the Mayor’s judgment determination under Article 4, Section 2 and Article 13, Section 3. He supported the Charter, the motion and appreciated the years Dave Kanner gave to the City. Councilor Marsh added the City had a newly reelected mayor chosen by voters with a significant affirmation. With a Mayor-Council form of government, while the Council did affirm the Mayor’s decisions there was a great deal of trust invested in the position of mayor. While she was not privy to everything he knew about the circumstances, she had trust and confidence in the Mayor’s recommendation. It was clear that Dave Kanner had done some great work for the City but it was time to move on to a different style of management for the future.
Councilor Seffinger appreciated the role the City Administrator had played in the City and her interactions with Mr. Kanner had been helpful. She understood it was time for him to move on in terms of the direction the City would be taking and the Mayor’s ability to move the City in a direction that was positive for the City.
Councilor Morris would not support the motion. The City Administrator had done everything Council asked him to do, and had acted professionally and appropriately. He appreciated what Mr. Kanner had accomplished and how he operated. Councilor Voisin would vote against the motion as well. This was a flawed process in the sense that it put every Councilor in the position of either trusting the Mayor or a process. Mr. Kanner had kept the City on target, did the work asked of him and that was why she thought the process was flawed. She needed more information that was not forthcoming and based on that could not put her trust in the Mayor.
Councilor Lemhouse supported the motion and the Mayor. It was important to recognize the community overwhelmingly supported the Mayor for a third term. That was significant and pointed to his judgement as the chief executive of the City per the City Charter. The Mayor followed the process outlined in the Charter.
Councilor Lemhouse had enjoyed his interactions with Mr. Kanner, thought he was very talented, and appreciated all his hard work. He understood the Mayor’s desire to move in a different direction with a different vision that matched the present times. He supported and trusted the Mayor knowing he was making an informed decision for the best of the community. Mayor Stromberg added he had a prepared joint statement with Mr. Kanner for release the following day. Roll Call Vote: Councilor Lemhouse, Rosenthal, Seffinger, and Marsh, YES; Councilor Morris and Voisin, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
Councilor Lemhouse/Marsh m/s approval of the proposed City contract with Dave Kanner titled “Resignation Agreement and Full Release.” DISCUSSION:
Councilor Lemhouse thought it was a fair agreement and contractually bound to the original employment agreement with Mr. Kanner.
Roll Call Vote: Councilor Marsh, Rosenthal, Seffinger, and Lemhouse, YES. Councilor Morris and Voisin, NO. Motion passed 4-2.
2. Guidance to staff regarding the recruitment process
City Attorney Dave Lohman explained the recruitment process for Finance Director was closed and the recruiter was vetting applications. The original notion was to have interviews with a narrow group of candidates in mid December. Council could decide to go ahead with those interviews or delay for the short or long term. Mayor Stromberg spoke to Resource Manager Tina Gray earlier and she informed him the recruiter had some promising candidates and thought they could time the interviews to have a new director hired just at the end of the budget process. The current Interim Finance Director Bev Adams agreed to stay on through the budget process. She would also act as the Budget Officer.
Mayor Stromberg wanted to appoint Fire Chief John Karns as Acting City Administrator from the end of November to December 6, 2016. Council would vote on making Chief Karns the Interim City Administrator at the December 6, 2016 Council meeting. Chief Karns was willing to serve as interim until a new City Administrator was hired. The Mayor was interested in going forward with the recruitment process for the new City Administrator immediately.
Council supported Chief Karns as Acting City Administrator, and making a decision to appoint him as the interim at the December 6, 2016 meeting. They also supported the proposed recruitment process for the Financial Director and moving forward with the City Administrator recruitment process.
Meeting adjourned at 8:59 p.m.
Dana Smith, Assistant to the City Recorder John Stromberg, Mayor