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Motion to renew Mayer city administrator’s contract fails on 2-2 vote
March 17, 2014

By Ivan Raconteur

MAYER, MN – Although no changes were proposed to Mayer’s contract with City Administrator Luayn Murphy, a motion to renew the contract failed 2-2 during last Monday’s meeting, with Mayor Mike Dodge and Council Member Tice Stieve-McPadden in favor, and council members Bruce Osborn and Erick Boder opposed.

“I’ve thought long and hard about this over the last week,” Osborn said. “At this point, I’m not willing to extend the contract.”

Murphy has been employed by the city since August 2004. The proposed renewal would have extended her contract three years, from 2014 to 2017.

The council reviewed the employment agreement during a workshop meeting Feb. 24, and made no changes to it.

Osborn did not offer any specific reasons for his opposition.

Boder said he had talked to Council Member Daniel Lueth, and Lueth had some issues with the contract. Boder said it was “too bad” Lueth was not present to express his concerns.

After the motion to renew the contract failed, Murphy asked Boder what his issues are with the contract.

Boder said he had talked to Osborn and Lueth, and they have issues with the contract, as well, but he did not identify what the issues are.

Murphy’s current contract expires May 9.

Dodge said it was not clear what the next step would be.

Last Tuesday, the city consulted the city attorney regarding its options.

In a memo Tuesday, City Attorney Dave Hubert said, according to “Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised,” a motion to reconsider a previous vote on a motion is supposed to be made during the same meeting in which the vote was taken.

If a motion to reconsider is not made during the same meeting, then, at a subsequent meeting, the proper motion would be for any council member to move to rescind the previous vote, Hubert noted.

If the motion to rescind the previous vote is adopted, then a new motion would be in order to accept the new contract (or the council would leave that decision to a subsequent meeting).

According to Dodge, last Tuesday, one of the council members who voted against the motion to renew the contract formally requested a special meeting to reconsider the prior motion. With all requirements being met, the request was granted.

A special meeting was scheduled for tonight, Monday, March 17 at 6:30 p.m.

If, during that meeting, the council approves a motion to reconsider the city administrator contract renewal, the matter will be discussed, Dodge noted.

If that does not occur, and the contract is not renewed, the other option, Dodge noted, would be for the city to take the opportunity to re-assess the city’s staffing needs.

This would involve the personnel committee meeting in the next couple weeks to begin the city staffing assessment.

The personnel committee includes the city administrator, mayor, acting mayor (Stieve-McPadden), and the city attorney.

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