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Latimer steps down as mayor, is appointed Marshall city administrator

Monday, February 1, 2010 ~ Updated 5:26 PM

(Photo)
From left, Marshall City Council member Lorna Alexander accepts the mayor's gavel from Connie Latimer, who had just resigned as mayor, while council member Dan Brandt listens to the exchange. Alexander will serve the rest of Latimer's term as mayor pro tem.
(Eric Crump/Democrat-News)
The Marshall City Council accepted the resignation of Marshall Mayor Connie Latimer at its meeting Monday evening, Feb. 1, and then moved to name her as the new city administrator.

"It has been a pleasure to serve the city of Marshall and also to work with all of you," Latimer told the council as she left the room. She didn't say much else because she was already becoming choked up.

Latimer handed over her gavel to council member and Mayor Pro Tem Lorna Alexander.

"We all know how hard Connie has worked as mayor and what a great job she has done," Alexander said.

She added, "She wants to do the best for the city as well as for the people of the community ... and she wants us to do the same."

City Clerk Janet French then read Latimer's letter of resignation to the council and audience.

"Please accept this as my official resignation from the position of Mayor. It has been an extreme honor and pleasure to serve the citizens of Marshall as part of your team. It's an experience I'm grateful for and will never forget," the letter stated.

Alexander presided over the rest of the meeting, when council member Ron Duvall moved to appoint Latimer as the city administrator. Those council members present voted unanimously to do so; Gabe Ramsey was absent.

Council member Vince Lutterbie questioned the salary that Latimer would receive.

"Charlie worked his way up to that amount," he said, but also noted that "it is a budgeted item."

Duvall recommended that Latimer receive an annual salary of $62,000, about $5,000 less than what was budgeted for previous City Administrator Charles Tryban, and it was approved by the council.

After the meeting adjourned, Alexander commended the council for the action it took. She said Latimer's tenure as mayor, working with Tryban for seven years and filling in for him since his retirement, made her qualified to be chosen for the administrator's job.

She noted that because she works out of town, she would be available at different times than Latimer has been, but she urged citizens who wish to speak to her about city issues to call city offices and she will respond as soon as possible.

She also noted that the new city administrator will also be available to help.

Latimer noted that her ties to the community and her long experience serving in city government provide her with practical qualifications for the job that compensate for her lack of degree in public administration.

She served five years on the park board, six years on the city council and seven years as mayor.

Still, some critics have questioned whether someone without a degree in public administration is qualified to serve as a city administrator.

"If I didn't believe I could do this job, I wouldn't have entertained this idea," she said. "Am I going to stumble? You betcha. Working side by side with somebody, you learn a lot, (but) there were things that were automatic with Charlie, so we didn't discuss them. There's also things I learned that I think I can bring to the table" that someone else might not.

She quoted a supporter who'd urged her to accept the city administrator job.

"He said, 'She's had her finger on the pulse of Marshall for more than 20 years. You can't beat that with 15 pieces of paper,'" she said.

Of critics, she said, "I'll just have to prove that they're wrong."

Prior to Latimer's resignation, the council heard routine committee reports.

Duvall, a member of the community development and code committee, said $83,000 in construction occurred in Marshall in January 2010. A total of 26 permits was issued, and $419 was collected in fees.

Lutterbie brought three names to the council for promotion from second class to first class officer with the Marshall Police Department. Brennan Wade, Sam Gibson and Luis Perez were all approved for their promotions.

In the municipal services and personnel committee report, council member Sam Moten said solid waste collections totaled 602.3 tons in January, compared to 670.6 in December 2009 and 595.5 in January 2009.

Traffic at Marshall Memorial Airport was down to 37 planes from 94 in December 2009 and 216 in January 2009.

In other business, the council approved an ordinance amending the city's occupational license codes.

This measure is mainly "to clean up discrepancies" in the current system for business licenses, attorney Don Stouffer said. It will "make sure that all licenses be granted from whatever day they're issued to the following March 1" and then be renewed annually after that.

The council's next regularly scheduled meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 5:15 p.m. in the City Office Building.

Contact Sydney Stonner at marshallbusiness@socket.net

Related Story:
Marshall mayor may seek city administrator position:
http://www.marshallnews.com/story/160600...


Comments
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I guess for some it is out of site/sight...out of mind....however, there are many of us who are sick and tired of status quo.....time for a change....vote for a real change....JMHO

-- Posted by Dave in MidMO on Fri, Mar 5, 2010, at 4:25 PM

toesrcute,

Apparently some questions are going to remain asked and unanswered. I suspect we are beating a dead horse. No big surprise.

-- Posted by Bcat on Thu, Feb 25, 2010, at 9:54 PM

Eric,

you never answered the question about what Mr.Stouffer thinks about all of this and where he stands.

-- Posted by toesrcute on Tue, Feb 23, 2010, at 1:29 PM

Well I notice that Sedalia received 40 applications for City Administrator so I guess that tells you what professional City Administrators think about our town or they know how things are handled here. I suspect that it also tells us that everyone knew from the start this was a done deal. What goes around comes around -- it you only hire from within then pretty soon no one bothers to apply and the same will happen with buying police cars -- after two years of taking the highest bidder it won't be long until there will only be one bidder. Also who drives those more expensive vehicles -- is it the officers on patrol or just the Chief and his Assistant?????

-- Posted by Jimbob25 on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 10:03 AM

Okay, I will admit that I didn't read all the posts but I do know that Marshall Citizens Bit** about the School Board --those people DO NOT get paid a cent-- and then we have ELECTED Paid officials of the City that get away with hiring/appointing someone that may or may not (I don't have anything against Connie) be qualified for the job. I'm guessing that the other 3 or 4 "applications" were bogus to begin with because I heard a long time before this happened that this was what was going to go down. My question is this: How does a CA get removed from their position? Do the citizens of Marshall have to vote for all new city council members and Mayor before a honest process of posting the CA position and interviewing ALL QUALIFIED candidates in order to appointed the Right person for the position or does the CA keep his/her job until THEY decide to retire? Come on folks $60,000+ a year....and you can basically appoint yourself to that position.

-- Posted by SeekingInfo on Sat, Feb 13, 2010, at 9:03 AM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Here's the relevant passage from city ordinances:

"Sec. 2-148. Removal of city administrator.

(a) The city administrator shall serve at the pleasure of the mayor and city council, and may be removed prior to the expiration of the appointed term with or without cause by:

(1) The mayor with a majority of the members elected to the city council; or

(2) By two-thirds (2/3) of the members elected to the council independent of the mayor's opposition;

(3) By a vote of the people to change the form of city government."

There's more about procedures. If revoved, a city manager has a right to a public hearing, things about severance pay and when it is awarded and when it is not, etc.

Hat full of sky....

I wonder about you sometimes. Equating spelling to people's opinions is a lazy argument for any issue, especially when the spelling takes place in THIS forum.

Is there some unknown to everyone but you rule, that before you can have an opinion you have to be able to spell correctly, or be willing to take the time to proof read every word before you post a comment somewhere?

Just curious how that idea works in your brain.... is there some sort of spelling test prior to voting in a booth or expressing an opinion? I must have missed that test

-- Posted by mrxray on Sat, Feb 6, 2010, at 5:45 AM

Eric -

After some searching in the city ordinances and state laws, I an unable to find anything regarding the requirement of even posting such a job. It appears that the City Administrator serves at the pleasure of the "appointing authority"....so I guess I would like to know if there IS a requirement to advertise this job, or if they could appoint anyone they wanted, at anytime, provided they met the standards listed below. Is there anyway for you to find that out?

-- Posted by koeller77 on Thu, Feb 4, 2010, at 2:03 PM

Eric,

One other thing; and I apologize if I missed this in an earlier story: are discussions on matters such as this, held by the council after adjourning to executive session (much like the school board)? If not, are the discussions regarding these resignations and subsequent appointments, held during regular sessions or elsewhere (Sunshine Laws not withstanding)?

-- Posted by Bcat on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 9:09 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Personnel matters (hiring, firing, promoting, etc.) *can* be discussed in closed session. As I understand the Sunshine Law, closed session is an option, not an obligation (though other laws may come to bear). In this case, the council held a closed session previously to review the applications received. Monday night, Connie Latimer's resignation was received and accepted in open session. Lorna Alexander took over as presiding officer and asked whether the council would like to consider the city administrator position, the motion was made to appoint Latimer, the vote was taken and the salary determined, all in open session.

Eric,

In response to my earlier post you asked if I had any questions or concerns. I had two questions; both asked in my prior post, but I'll repeat: Where does our city attorney Don Stouffer stand on this issue? Did he offer an opinion to the council on this matter before they took this action? You can pose these to him if you see fit. You're the reporter. Did I feel that the mayor or city council violated any ordinance? Based on the city ordinance that you provided earlier, no, as to the letter of the ordinance. As to the spirit of the ordinance? That's obvious to me and apparently a number of others. The mayor and council members and city attorney can conduct themselves as they see fit when it comes to the peoples' business. They can also answer to the "people" on election day. That day may be a ways away, due to timing, but will come.

-- Posted by Bcat on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 8:24 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Thanks for adding some questions to the mix. I intend to contact Mr. Stouffer tomorrow.

I hope this is my last post to this issue but I have to say this. Former Mayor MS Connie will never, nor members of the the council, nor the new mayor ever defend/justify themselves to the press because you do not want to just get into a sparing match with people that buy ink by the Barrel. Not to mention the fact that unless you are of the "somebody group" our opinion does not matter. It was a easy deal for Lorna to appoint MS Connie CA because Lorna's first time on the council was not by election by her peers but by appointment by who else other than Ms. Connie as was MS. Cook. As for attending the meetings as on poster said we did not do, this is becuase MS. Connie changed the time of the meeting from 7:00 to 5:15 to better accomadate her dinner schedule. For people that work it makes it rather difficult to do. I wonder how many other city councils meet at 5:15. Anyone else wonder how many people would stay on the council if they did not get free health care. Lets see I guess it could be the pay as well. Meetings seem to last around 15 minutes two times per month for aound 200.00 per month pay. that is around 400.00 per hour + benifits. If you only make it to half the meetings because you job keeps you away than the pay really gets good. Remember you get paid if you are there or not. Oh yes I forgot the city ordinance says you have to come unless you are excused.

-- Posted by marshallnative on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 7:34 PM

hatful of sky said:

It occurs to me that there are 20 individuals posting negative stuff about the action taken by the Council. (Some of those can't even spell council correctly.)

That means there are potentially 12,413 people who think Connie Latimer will do a good job.

No,not really. Besides you would still be busy reading 12,413 other posts before you could come up with such a number. I would bet there are a helluva lot more people upset with this situation. Just because they have better things to do then to post here.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 12:55 PM

I do not know whether or not Mrs. Latimer will do a good job for the city, or whether or not she is qualified for the position of City Adminstrator, but I do know that the whole process of how this position was filled is joke. The City of Marshall is a public entity whose empolyees are paid with public funds. So here's what's wrong with this situation. 1)unemployment is at 10% nationwide, but only 4 applications are received for a good job with good pay and benefits? Proof that this job was NOT ADVERTISED anywhere. Not locally and not in any professional publications or websites. And no mention of any interviews taking place? The citizens of Marshall deserve to have the best person possible in the position of City Administrator. How can the city council even pretend this is what has happened when they can't even pretend that they looked for candidates? 2) the mayor had to resign to even apply for the position. It's a conflict of interest for a person to apply for a job and then be seated on the council that will hire for that position. Well, the mayor did indeed resign, and in less than 5 minutes applied for and was appointed to the position of city adminstrator. How can anyone say with a straight face that this was all done above board when they couldn't even wait until the next meeting to review Mrs. Latimers application and make the appointment? Let's just hope the joke doesn't end up being on the citizen's of Marshall because of the shenanigans of our elected city officials!

-- Posted by Hombre on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 12:37 PM

Dang it, I have to agree with Aikman8, hate it when that happens.

I also have nothing against Connie, it's just the "feathering your own nest first" attitude by any politician that I despise. The process reeks of insider BS and is not what we need from public officials. People paid with tax money should be of a little higher character. If it smells, its fishy.

Heck, its not fishy, as no one involved in this hiring is the least bit concerned that it was a totally rigged deal for one candidate who is barely, if at all, qualified.

Being the $3900 more or less 'volunteer' mayor in no way qualifies someone to perform a $62,000 a year professional management job. I don't care how many friends you have or how nice a person you are.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 11:08 AM

Well said, aikman. As I previously stated, I DO like Connie. I do think she will do the best job she is capable of doing.

But -- I DO believe this appointment was waaaay wrong. The process of receiving applications and conducting interviews should have been completed.

hat, count me as 21.

Have a great day!

M

-- Posted by missy08 on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 7:19 AM

as much interest this has generated, i think the honorable and classy thing for connie latimer to do would be to resign/not accept her newly-appointed position, and let it go to an official hiring process instead of the fake one they have tried already. if she is good enough to compete and go through that, then by all means, hire her. if she really cares about this town, she'll do that. otherwise, a firestorm anhd the current political climate has just hit marshall.

unfortunately, if you're going from 3900 to 62K in salary, she won't do that. i don't blame her ... i'd love to go from 3900 to 62K a year in a heartbeat. especially if you can work it behind the scenes with the good ol' boy (girl in this case) network.

how tone deaf can this city council be in an election year that is so sensitive with obama's stupidities and an electorate so enraged to just make a decision like this? nice move city council (spelled correctly). we'll see you in november, and won't forget. you've stepped it up ... made the enraged voters aware of YOU.

as for the new mayor pro-tem ... nice lady from my experiences with her, but if she works out of town and can't give this town her time, if her attendance at council (spelled correctly) meetings is bad, as a previous poster said ... what good is this?

-- Posted by aikman8 on Wed, Feb 3, 2010, at 12:58 AM

I would like to know where our City Attorney, Don Stouffer stands on this issue. Did he offer an opinion to the Council? He certainly had no problem offering his opinion on a Beer Garden at the Fairgrounds, on the record. Was he consulted, or maybe just asleep at the switch?

-- Posted by Bcat on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 9:54 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Do you have a specific question or concern? Do you believe the council or former mayor violated city ordinance? We'd be glad to ask Mr. Stouffer his opinion.

I think that if any of you had a real problem with this you would grow a pair and voice your concerns at the next city council meeting on the 15th.

-- Posted by CEB on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 8:59 PM

It occurs to me that there are 20 individuals posting negative stuff about the action taken by the Council. (Some of those can't even spell council correctly.)

That means there are potentially 12,413 people who think Connie Latimer will do a good job.

You go, girl!

-- Posted by hat full of sky on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 8:43 PM

"The council adjourned into executive session to review resumes and applications for the city administrator position, Mayor Latimer said Wednesday morning, Jan. 20. She said four applications were received, and she hopes to make a decision by the beginning of February."

I wonder why one of these four were not hired? Can Mrs. Latimer answer that? Were they not "qualified"? And why did they not qualify? And it says she was going to make the decision so that tells me noone would have fit the bill so that she herself would be appointed by herself essentially!!

-- Posted by toesrcute on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 6:51 PM

Just one big laugh really, when mayor made statement of not being in a hurry for replacement of this position she knew what was gonna happen. i dont really care who gets the job but it was not even advertised in local paper, that alone is a slam to marshall, our own city government would not use local paper. just more B.S from a bunch of scratch my back and i will yours.

-- Posted by yank on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 5:57 PM

And, hey, the sewer thing for Mr. Duvall is small potatoes.

Here's an example.

In another town I lived in, there was a real estate developer who bought property on the edge of town for a housing development. The city refused for a few years to provide sewer or other utilities to the property with all kinds of reasons. The developer was forced to re-sell the land (160 acres) at a loss and it was purchased by a city councilman.

The councilman then, after a brief wait, initiated a committee to study building a municipal golf course. See where we are headed?

But wait, the committee decided that we definitely needed a municipal course, as the other THREE in town were all private. So, after a no doubt thorough study, the city condemned the property adjacent to the councilmans windfall and purchased it for the new golf course.

Well, magically, the utilities for the new course needed to run right through the councilman's property, so he would get all utilities provided to HIS new subdivision at no cost! Needless to say, another case of the rich getting richer by abusing a politically elected position.

Now, I am not saying that Former Mayor Latimer abused her position. I only tell this story as an example of what happens in towns when the city government begins to think they can do anything they want, including things that line their self-serving pockets.

This WAS an opportunity for Marshall. And if it is true that Mrs. Latimer wants what is best for Marshall, then wouldn't that be an educated, experienced city manager with a track record of success that might just be able to help us grow some new jobs? Instead, she gets a rather high paying job for this area, and we get more of the same.

-- Posted by Smart Dog on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 4:49 PM

If everyone feels that strongly about it you do not have to take it. You have a vote, If I still lived in the city limits I would write in a candidate. The CA is an at will hire of the Mayor. All of the candidates that are up for re-election can still be voted out if people ban together and write in a candidate in their prospective wards. If that does not work keep your voices heard and vote against each and every thing on the ballot until due processes takes place.

It is not just the CA's postion at stake here. Ms. Lattimer resigned her position at Marshall Service because she said the Mayor's position was full time and she had a full time job. Something had to give so she quit Marshall Service since she could not do two jobs well. Now we have a Mayor that says she will not be as accessable to the people since she works out of town but the the Connie will fill in for her, wait aminute she cannot do two jobs well by her on words a few year ago. Well the mayor's is pay $3600 per year to be acessable to people and business during normal hours. She needs to earn her pay or not take it. It has been that way for the last 3 mayors or so. should she get a pass? I think not. I know of other people that have resigned because the could not fulfill their obligation as an elected offical because the work out of town or other commitments. In fact believe if you look at her attendace it is poor to council meetings. What does the ordinance book say about attendance Eric? I feel She should resign the post as mayor and give it to one of the other people(they can appoint some one that is not on the council to fullfil the remaing term) that can serve the people when they need it and not when it is convenient for her.

It is time for a change and stop the argoence.

-- Posted by marshallnative on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 4:44 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Here's what city ordinance says about council member attendance at meetings:

Sec. 2-28. Duty to attend meetings.

No member of the city council shall absent himself from any regular meeting thereof, nor from any adjourned or special meeting after due notice thereof, unless he has leave, or is sick and unable to attend, or is otherwise prevented by circumstances beyond his control; and any member absenting himself without having such excuse, shall be fined not less than one dollar ($1.00) nor more than five dollars ($5.00) unless such fine be remitted by a two-thirds majority of the members elected to the council.

(Code 1967, 2-30)

Marshall shows itself again. What a poor excuse for city goverment. I do love the way the counsil put this whole little plan together. Counsil appoints Mayor.

Former Mayor make announcent after the filing date. So now its to late to get new counsil members.

What a nice package of goods we got handed to us.

-- Posted by spencer on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 4:32 PM

So if other applications were accepted, where was the job posted? When was the closed session personel meeting to review those applications. How many people were interviewed that applied?

Most probable answers: It wasn't, No Meeting, and Zero!

-- Posted by Gumby on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 4:29 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
"The council adjourned into executive session to review resumes and applications for the city administrator position, Mayor Latimer said Wednesday morning, Jan. 20. She said four applications were received, and she hopes to make a decision by the beginning of February."

www.marshallnews.com/story/1603692.html

You do have to commend the council on their timing. Didn't the deadline for filing for elections just pass? It probably wouldn't have been wise to pull this stunt before that. At least they use their heads when in CYA mode.

-- Posted by outsider on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 4:06 PM

So how about it, Eric or Kathy? Do some investigative reporting. Ask each council member individually what their own thought process was in regards to the situation and tell them that they might be quoted in the paper. Don't give them the advantage of strength in numbers by asking them as a group. Let's see which ones, if any, will stand up and explain it to their constituents. It's pretty obvious that you have a bunch of citizens that would like a little more info. That's what newspapers do, isn't it? Or have they just become a rubber stamp for government?

-- Posted by outsider on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 4:01 PM

Same old thing, that's what is wrong with this town. This is the reason that the population sign hasn't changed in forty years. Never bring in somebody new and let them do somethings to make this community better. Look at Roy Hunter he hasn't done enough good since being in office to justify his office, but we do nothing about it.

Same thing with this appointment you can only go to the well so many times. It's not what you know, it's who you know.

-- Posted by green 9955 on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 3:04 PM

I still believe this was a done deal before Charlie even announced his resignation to the public. When did the council know of his retirement and how long did they take to look at other applicants?

-- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 3:00 PM

The process of city governance should always be one of open policy and for all decisions to be sunshine-proof. As the City Administrator is a key figure in the operation of the city (and possibly the highest paid city employee...the salary looks like one of the top salaried ones), the council should be even more diligent in their actions to ensure a squeaky clean selection. Given the situation that was unfolding with this case...e.g. the incumbent mayor deciding that she was the best candidate based on 'friends telling her so' and then resigning to get what looks like a non-competitive selection... red flags should have gone up on every council member's radar about how this selection would "play in Peoria." I too do not think ill-will of the former mayor. But the qualifications for being the mayor entail meeting a minimum age, living in the city for a specific period of time and being elected by the populace. These are not the same requirements as one presents on a resume in order to be appointed as City Administrator. And frankly if the former mayor was obviously the best candidate, why not do the open interview process? If she were then best of show, then her credentials (including any on-the-job expertise while mayor and past parks board work) would have been obvious. Unfortunately, as things unfolded, there appears the smacking of small-town politics as usual. I am not sure that aspect of local governance is what others are commenting when they raise their arguments for hiring local and against brining in new blood. It is apparent that doing business 'as we always have done' is always the best approach...well for some at least.

-- Posted by oceanlord49 on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 2:00 PM

Per Marshall city ordinances:

Sec. 2-143. Qualifications.

The city administrator shall be at least twenty-five (25) years of age and a resident of Marshall during his tenure. In addition, the city administrator shall be a graduate of an accredited university or college with a major in public or municipal administration or shall have equivalent qualifications and experience in financial, administrative and/or public relations fields.

(Ord. No. 6107, 3, 8-19-85)

-- Posted by Eric Crump on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 1:55 PM

Well perhaps I am the only one that is really incensed by this move....I can not help but wonder who's interests are being paramount....their personal interest or ours?? I think this is possibly a mini view of what is happening to our country! The Constitution and why we serve in PUBLIC OFFICE has been lost to professional politicians and opportunists! As I said before....what a sad state of affairs....are those dark clouds I see...I know that we are all capable of blowing in fresh air and change. One vote at a time....JMHO

-- Posted by Dave in MidMO on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 1:10 PM

I might add that I am not anti-Connie...but I am PRO good business; which is not necessarily status quo.....what a sad state of affairs....

-- Posted by Dave in MidMO on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 12:38 PM

Here I have always been told that those things won't or don't float....this is potentially a sad day in our city history when an open recruitment for a MAJOR position is not openly and fully explored before being filled. I can not help but wonder if there were any rules of procedure or laws violated. I pray not...but this still is something that just does not seem...well RIGHT. JMHO

-- Posted by Dave in MidMO on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 12:30 PM

Some interesting comments so far about this situation. To 'hat full of sky', as I recall from the Democrat-News stories after the termination of the E911 Director, the board said that they had 12-14 applications of which two were interviewed. One was from in-county (who was hired) and one wanted to commute from up north (who was not selected.) Based on your thesis, they hired the 'correct' person (unfortunately the one they eventually fired) since that person was from within the county. As they should be looking to select the best fit to defined set of qualifications, experience and certifications needed for the position and then hire the best (not a novel approach.) Since it was later reported that the Director they did hire had little fire/police/emergency response expertise, then it is difficult to believe why they selected as they did for the E911 Directorship. I have to admit that at the time the E911 gig was a start-up venture and the skill sets needed to get an operation going may be somewhat different from those needed to keep it going once the doors are opened. So what the commission was really after in their selection is probably a bit of a mystery, even to them it would appear as they have delayed looking for a replacement director of the operation.

-- Posted by oceanlord49 on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 12:15 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
Just a clarification: The first director of E911 was not a Saline County resident when she was hired.

www.marshallnews.com/story/1318192.html

Responding to posts by farmer'sgranddaughter and Bambi:

Mr. Tryban was a state employee before becoming city administrator with the local business management experience coming before that.

One reason you don't see certain types of jobs routinely listed in the Democrat is that there are specialty internet sites and publications where they appear. For example, for teacher and school secretary jobs, these are posted on a web site under auspices of the State Department of Education or MoREAP. City Management jobs can be advertised in periodicals to which management types subscribe.

-- Posted by Cat13 on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 11:25 AM

Editor,

If they really advertized for the opening then why can't they tell us where? Why is it a secret, unless they only placed the ad in the mayor office? Tell us the qualifications of the "others" that applied (without names of course). Then tell us the job qualifications of the one they appointed. Being an elected official does not mean you are qualified for this job, it just means you knew how to be elected for the opening you ran for. So far that is the only qualification anyone is claiming for her. Being a part-time mayor is simply not enough.

Education, Training, and work experience is what makes you qualified, so far we have not seen Latimer has any of these for the job she was hired. Maybe she does but why are they keeping this from us?

Oldowlfan, you don't have to run for office to expect the ones elected to do the right thing. If we follow your line of thinking it means none of us can complain about the president because we didn't run for it. I thought having the right to speak out about public officials was one of the reasons this country was founded. Maybe I'm wrong.

-- Posted by votemout on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 11:15 AM

Some of you sound jealous more than anything else!

You are forgeting that Mr. Tryban previously was a retail manager for a local store prior to becoming city administrator. Just because you don't have a management or administration degree does not mean that you are not qualified for that position and the duties that go with it. In some cases it doesn't mean that you are qualified either.

Stop your wining and complaining! Connie Latimer cares deeply about Marshall! She has been an excellant mayor and will make solid decisions as our administrator.

As for Connie Latimer's house, her house is really very comfortably modest and quite attractive and tasteful! Leave her alone! Her house is none of your business! Your critical attitudes do Marshall no GOOD!

I do hope that the future will not bring legal controversy or turmoil due to this situation! If you are unhappy with your city councilman or women or the so called perks that you think exists for certain people, place your name on the ballot. In the mean time, get to know the mayor pro tem. She needs our support! If you have ideas or concerns let her know! I plan to do just that.

-- Posted by farmer'sgranddaughter on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 11:10 AM

All you people that are crying about this put your name in the hat for one of the city council and let me know who you are and I will vote for you.

If you don't want to run then dont cry about it!!!!!!!!!!!

-- Posted by OldOwlFan on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 10:14 AM

Gee I think I remember saying in the last article, that it sounded like Latimer already had the job? I got slammed for saying it.

The job of city administrator is a tax supported public paid job. The administrator is a city employee and enjoys city benefits. The city did not advertise for this city tax supported position, nor did the city accept applications for this position.

I can't wait for a lawsuit on this one. I hope a black, hispanic or elderly person sues. So much for equal opportunity employment in Marshall.

What an underhanded move by latimer and the council. The dity politics are so out of hand!

-- Posted by Gumby on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 9:44 AM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
I don't know where the job was advertised, but the city did receive and review applications:

www.marshallnews.com/story/1603692.html

I've know Connie for over 20 years. I worked with her many years ago and her work ethic and caring for this community have not changed in all that time. I believe she will do a great job for this town. I respect all of you that have your degrees but hard work and experience do count for something. I've worked with a lot of people with Master's Degrees that didn't have any common sense and their 'knowledge' was all on a piece of paper. How about giving her a chance? If she doesn't perform as she should, then complain. I do agree, the job should have been advertised. However, if you read the paper, you know that Mr. Tryban retired. If you were interested, that would have been a good time to apply. It appears that is how things work everywhere. Have you ever seen an advertisement in the Marshall paper for a teacher, school secretary, etc. Those jobs are filled by people taking the initiative to go in and applying before there is an opening. If you think about it, there are very few jobs advertised in this area or the surrounding area.

-- Posted by Bambi on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 9:42 AM

Those of you using the argument "we need new blood" aren't fooling anyone.

You would be the first people complaining when the new person did something you didn't like. Then you would be saying "that person is an outsider -- doesn't understand Marshall."

It's just what you did with the 911 director.

Mayor Latimer has experience -- she's been the mayor for 7 years. She's from Marshall and cares about Marshall. She will do a fine job -- just not necessarily in compliance with what you think should be done!

-- Posted by hat full of sky on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 7:30 AM

Just for your information: If you noticed the sewer construction done on stedeum road. This was to put a sewer line down that street forpossible use of 3 houses. Mr. Duvall was the 3rd house on that street. He was able to purchase that house very very reasonablely because it was on a septic system. But now his home value just raised greatly just in having sewer available to hook on to. Same old story, you scratch my back & I'll scratch yours.

-- Posted by sassie2 on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 7:12 AM

Guess who the Property Manager of the Marshall Plaza is? Mrs Latimer! Drive around the back of the Marshall Plaza and see what a wonderful job she has done keeping up that property. Hopefully Marshall does not end up that rundown with her as the City Administrator.

-- Posted by mrcheerful on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 6:59 AM

This was all decided before we heard a word about it. That's what leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

The first I heard of it was thursday on the radio. Tuesday morning it's a done deal. They never even considered anyone else. As for the council they must think they are a private enterprise.

-- Posted by What the f...... on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 5:55 AM

Wow! Now that's a fast shuffle and deal. It will be interesting watching how the hands are played.

-- Posted by Oklahoma Reader on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 2:45 AM

The city council should be ashamed. Rather than seeing if they could find the best person for the job they did as they have done for the last 5 years, exactly what Latimer wanted them to do. I knew this was going to happen because whatever she wanted no council member would ever cross her. What a setup deal.

The council is not thinking what the best is for the people of this city or they would have at least taken applications. But if they had taken application there would have been no way they could have justified what they done. Notice there has never been anything printed about her education or work experience.

Remember it is election year for some of the members and the ones like Ron Duvall pushing this dog and pony show need to be gone. Time for a total house cleaning. Your council didn't even give this town a chance.

Movaldude, the point is they didn't let anyone apply, no matter where you lived. There are several people in this area that are a 100 times more qualified than her, but in this case if your name was not Connie Latimer you didn't get considered.

-- Posted by votemout on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 12:56 AM

Well finally a group of local elected officials hire someone from Saline County. I'm so tired that people from Saline County get passed over for some interview savvy outsider can come in and take a good job. ARE YOU LISTENING 911 COMISSION! Great jobs are hard to find in Saline County and I think that locals should be given more consideration. HOW MANY MO VALLEY COLLEGE POSITIONS ARE FILLED FROM SALINE COUNTY OR EVEN MO VALLEY GRADUATES! I for one have not even gotten an interview with some of these people in positions of power. We grow up here and go to college graduate with honors and come home to "well isn't that little mary or johnny they just seem to never get a good job." Heck if your address is from Saline County you don't ever get considered.

Connie congratulations I think that you will do a great job! Lorna congratulations on being the first black mayor of Marshall, I think! Either way congratulations to you both!

-- Posted by movaldude on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 12:35 AM

By the way, just because a person fills in, doesn't make them the best fit for the job.

I can go in the Internet and search medical facts and learn a lot, but does this make me a good fit to be a doctor; I think NOT! I'm just saying...

-- Posted by RedAngel on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 11:43 PM

Wow...where was this job posted so qualified applicants could apply? I'm thinking that this was not well thought out by the City Council. In my opinion, there could have been many other choices. But, guess there is a new, fancy house to pay for. Quite a raise, indeed! Must be nice to get that kind of raise in a days time! Too bad others in this community are stuggling so much while our city officials job hop into such positions without proper education and qualifications.

-- Posted by RedAngel on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 11:40 PM

Mayor $3900/ year, CA $62,000/ year hmmmm....unemployment over 10%, college grads with degrees and student loans to pay back can't find jobs and Latimer maneuvers herself almost a $60,000 raise.

-- Posted by outsider on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 10:33 PM

The only mention as to what hiring action was underway for the CA replacement is a comment in the 20 Jan Democrat-News that the former mayor had received four resumes and a decision was going to be made by early February. And then last Wed the mayor was dropping news releases saying she was thinking about doing it herself. ??? Where did the council advertise the position and criteria for interested parties to submit resumes? I don't recall seeing the opening announce in the paper. And unfortunately the city website does not have any electronic links to their open positions. Isn't there usually a deliberate process of formal position announcement with the details of the position and selection criteria being posted and available for review, etc? My experience with other government entities (state, federal, etc.) is a hiring process that is very a deliberate one so as to allow for the appropriate due diligence in the hiring process. Not that we should be privy to who these four folks were who were not selected, but it seems difficult that the best we can do for such an important position is to have the mayor resign and then the council hire her as being the best solution for the city. I guess the comment from the 07 December article which covered Mr. Tryban's announced retirement is somewhat prophetic in this whole thing. It says that the position "is an appointed position, so the mayor will choose someone who will then be approved by council members." I guess in this case, she did exactly that and selected herself and the city council acquiesced. Not sure this was a shining example of full open government at work.

-- Posted by oceanlord49 on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 9:58 PM

sounds like Connie and Lorna won on this one. in the Picture it looks like Mr. Brandt is contimplating is next move. It appears as the the Smart one was Mr. Ramsey who is sitting this one one. It is better to miss a meeting the vote against the one that can get rid of you.

-- Posted by marshallnative on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 8:15 PM

Why does this not surprise anyone????

-- Posted by toesrcute on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 7:50 PM

It appears the city council sent a strong message that they do not want Marshall to grow and attract new business. Just keep it like it has been. Its also a little strange that this all occurred at the same meeting where they said 37 planes visited the airport compared to 216 last January. One of the ex Mayor's major accomplishments was getting a new fuel station put in for something over $300,000 so planes could stop and purchase fuel at night unattended. I doubt all 37 bought fuel and they would have to be air bus to buy enough to justify $300,000 and also the paper said in an article that the Mayor said it was grant money and if we had not spent it someone else would. If they try to attract a major business and they see that attitude then you won't be bothered with them coming to Marshall.

-- Posted by Jimbob25 on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 7:32 PM

Congratulations Connie, I know you will do a great job for the city.

-- Posted by fresh air on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 7:12 PM

I say remember all the council members who signed off on this high stakes game of musical chairs when election time comes around. Unless of course they'd like to publicly explain this seemingly closed process. Not with just a bunch of "best person for the job" garbage. It appeared to be a case of "only person considered for the job".

Just curious...what is the mayor's salary?

-- Posted by outsider on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 7:06 PM
Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
$3,900 per year, plus $150 per month expense allowance.

sometimes a title does not earn you respect you lose it instead especially when it is not earned but given. It kind of like recieving an honorary Doctorite from a Institution of higher learning does not really make you a Doctor. This is a travisty. 60K worth of reasons why it is the wrong choice. Does not have a degree in PA,Never been an adminstrator only a Mayor. Never been away from Marshall so does not have any fresh ideas. Is this the best interest in Marshall or just best interest in the Mayor

-- Posted by marshallnative on Mon, Feb 1, 2010, at 6:52 PM


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