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Councilman wants new Wells policy

By Staff | Dec 13, 2009

Jeremy Germann

A Wells councilman’s plea to adopt an “Open Appointment Policy for Public Officials” fell on deaf ears at last month’s council meeting.

“I don’t care if you guys like me or not. I just think everybody in town should have the opportunity to be on a committee if they choose,” says Councilman Mike Weber.

City Administrator Jeremy Germann says the current practice is for members of a committee with a vacancy to recommend a candidate or candidates to fill the position.

He says the council may either pick from the list or select their own person to be on the committee.

Germann says there’s nothing in writing to specify if or how the open position should be advertised.

Weber says it’s the third time he has tried to get the city to adopt an appointment policy.

His recommendation of general guidelines the city should follow include:

• any announcement of vacancies should be published or posted in accordance with the law;

• a minimum application period of two weeks with a deadline date;

• applications will remain active until the City Council makes an appointment;

• nominations will be made only from those who applied for the specific vacancy position;

• and applications from all candidates will be provided to the mayor and the council prior to consideration of appointments.

Weber believes the policy is needed because city officials have ‘hand-picked’ replacements in the past.

“It’s the same old usual suspects who get to serve on these committees,” Weber says.

But, the other three council members disagreed.

Councilman Stephen Burns asked Weber if his suggestion wasn’t something that is already being done.

“If we are doing it, then there shouldn’t be any problem approving this,” Weber responded.

Under Weber’s proposal, applications would be forwarded to the council and be reviewed for proper qualifications.

The council could either proceed to make an appointment, seek further recommendation of advisory committees or re-advertise the vacancy if no appointment is made.

Council member Ashley Seedorf wondered how the interview process would be conducted.

Weber’s motion to approve the policy died for lack of a second.