City Council Setting Rules For Oversight Of Staff

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

City Council members are setting rules for oversight of office employees.

Councilwoman Carol Berz noted that the office employees at one time "were a fiefdom to themselves."

But she said they now have been placed under city personnel.

But Councilman Yusuf Hakeem said that doesn't mean the council loses oversight over them.

City Attorney Wade Hinton said in the case of the need to hire a replacement employee that personnel would find candidates who meet the requirements. However, it would be up to the council members to make the choice.

Councilman Russell Gilbert said certain employee decisions should not just be left up to the council chairperson.

He said the last chairperson (Pam Ladd) acted on her own in hiring three new employees with no input from other council members. He said all the council should have a say-so in hiring or firing.

Carol O'Neal was the longtime City Council clerk, but she retired when the Littlefield administration went out. Fellow office employees Shirley Crownover and Carolyn Moore left at the same time.

Ms. Ladd named Sandra Freeman as the O'Neal replacement. She also said there would be two part-time employees, Nicole Gwynn and Cindy Patrick. They ended up being full-time.

Councilman Hakeem said the discussion about the employees was brought on by "employees wanting more money."

He objected when Councilwoman Berz said it was "insubordinate" when office employees discussed concerns with council members other than the chairperson.

Councilman Chris Anderson agreed with Councilman Hakeem that such discussion would not be insubordination.  

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