The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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December 12, 2012

Mayor not supporting consultant

CLINTON — Members of the Clinton City Council reaffirmed their decision to hire the city’s human resources consultant to lead the search for the next city administrator, but Mayor Mark Vulich said he won’t support the move.

Council members voted 4-2 during their regular meeting Tuesday to hire HR consultant Paul Greufe and Associates to guide the search for an interim and permanent city administrator.  Members Paul Gassman, Ward 4 and Maggie Klaes, Ward 1, were the dissenters. Ward 3 council woman Bev Hermann was not at the meeting.

Gassman raised concerns over the pace of the process and the lack of details from Greufe himself on his ability and history in hiring.  

“I don’t want to have two meetings and then decide we have the perfect candidate to lead us through all these difficulties that we are experience and that’s not going to go away tomorrow. We are going to have many many years of difficulties here to address,” Gassman said.  “I don’t have enough information to support the resolution yet without being able to address Mr. Greufe on what his plans are on helping the City Council and wether it includes the city leadership we’ve relied on.”

“I still would ask that Paul Greufe present the city council his proposal of what he’s going to and how he’s going to go about it. Otherwise you’re asking me to sort of rubber stamp something that I have no knowledge of,” Gassman said later in the meeting.  

Prior to the meeting, Rowland distributed a letter to his fellow Council members containing information about Paul Greufe and Associates and the search process. Rowland also said he could answer a number of questions regarding Greufe and his experience. He stated Greufe would be at the Dec. 18 Council meeting to talk about his plan and present his credentials for the position.

Vulich said he was upset by the letter and concerned as to whether any rules had been broken.  

“I question Council member Rowland. It’s as if he’s a representative of Paul Greufe and Associates because apparently he’s the person that’s our liaison with that person. That rather concerns me because it seems to be outside the appropriateness of a Council member’s duties on how he’s dealing with contract labor of Clinton,” Vulich said.

Rowland also made the request during the meeting for Vulich to sign the resolution immediately, putting it into effect and getting the process started.  

He said he wanted to explore other options including the hiring of a consulting firm to help with City Administrator work or special projects rather than the Council’s proposal to hire an interim as a city employee.  However, Vulich said he felt the discussion of other options was shot down before it even started.   

Vulich has 14 days to sign the resolution before it goes into effect. He can also veto the resolution within the same window.  If he pursues a veto, the Council would have 30 days to override it with a 5-2 vote.

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