Importance of a 3 person voting majority

April 25, 2012

Gary Nemeth


There is a danger in believing a rumor without asking where the rumor started, who started it, what they had to gain. Sometimes it’s started to stir the pot or to change the discussion from what is important.

Several weeks ago Sally Reynolds  of asked an important question of the council regarding the city managers contract, and if they had read it. The next week the mayor was on KPRL and was asked about the contract, he could not remember what and how he voted on the contract, stating he would get back to us with his answer.

The full term and conditions of the contract resolution can be found at “Resolution No. 11-120”.   I was fortunate to be serving as Mayor Pro Tem and one of two members who volunteered to sit on the ad hoc committee to negotiate the change from a civil service agreement to an “at will” contract which is currently in place today.

The original civil service agreement allowed the city manager to revert back to his previous position held if asked to step down without a finding of any wrong doing.  At the time, I had been receiving an enormous amount of requests to change the terms of the contract for 2003/2004 and the future.

As I listened to community impute then, they wanted change. Speaking for myself I agreed, I gathered information regarding both public and private CEOs. I investigated cities our size and larger, length of terms for city managers, requirements for severance packages, and reasons for changing city managers.

The current city manager was giving up a civil service commitment which is lifetime employment.  There was an agreement reached between the parties which covered all concerns including evaluations. The agreement was explained to the entire council and approved.

At any time that agreement can be modified by a vote of a majority of the council, three out of five can modify it. In the same manner three councilman can enact the “at will” provision of the contract; it was unfortunate that I was unable to have that majority. It is time for a new beginning.

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Questions: What prompted the change of App’s contract from one of civil servant, a lifetime contract, accordng to Gary Nemeth, to that of an “at will” concract? Why would Jim App have agreed this change? Comparatively, what did Jim App get out of the change and what did he give up, you dollars?