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Truman City Council has to operate better

May 11, 2012
Gary Andersen, Lee Smith , Fairmont Sentinel

Truman Mayor Lynn Brownlee has things right. She wants City Council members to work together, to inform one another of the outstanding issues and to get approvals from the whole board before purchases are made or work proceeds. All of this is exactly reasonable.

What has been going on apparently does not match the mayor's goals. Council members got into a heated dispute this week over whether two members - Buzzy Becker and Paul Leimer - are making administrative decisions without seeking their colleagues' consent. This is occurring, alleges Councilwoman Kathy Hendricksen, in conjunction with the city clerk.

While the decisions in question are not life or death, it doesn't really matter. When city dollars are spent or city policy established, the city's elected officials - ALL?of them - should be involved.

What has been going on in Truman does not rise to the level of open meeting law violations, but it is certainly dysfunction. If the council wants one or two of its members to help the city clerk with administrative decisions, then they should be operating under the auspices of an "operations committee," or some such entity. What we're hearing is that other council members want to be involved in all the decisions. So, those council members should formally object to what has been going on, and pass a resolution stating that decisions about spending and policy must be made by the council as a whole.



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