The City Council voted 6-3 Tuesday night to become involved in the court case filed by Mayor Ron Littlefield seeking to stop his recall and a special mayoral election set for August.
Councilman Peter Murphy said Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth has indicated he wants the city made a party to the case.
He said if the city does not get involved that it likely will cause the planned Feb. 10 trial date to be moved back and further delay the case.
He said the council had decided not to take a position in the case, but to seek the court's guidance on the recall issue.
Councilwoman Deborah Scott said she did not believe City Attorney Mike McMahan should be involved, saying he has a conflict. Councilman Andrae McGary took the same position and said the city should seek to defend its current charter in the case. But a majority of council members disagreed and said Attorney McMahan should handle the case.
Councilwoman Carol Berz said hiring outside counsel would be expensive. She said, "I do know we need closure on this."
Councilman Jack Benson said, "We need to get this issue settled as soon as we can."
Attorney McMahan said he follows the dictates of a majority of the council.
Several recall leaders addressed the council on the issue, saying the city should defend the current recall provision.
Jim Folkner said, "If you are going to court, you should send an attorney to take a position - not to say hi."
Voting no were council members Scott, McGary and Russell Gilbert.