(Editor’s Note: This article is the continuation of the council meeting on Tuesday, September 3. The first article dealt with Mayor Michael Ihle’s reaction to the vote of no confidence (VONC) that was submitted by City Recorder Kathy Garrett. In fairness to both sides, this article contains council’s accusations against the mayor that led to Garrett’s agenda item.)
RAVENSWOOD - Mayor Michael Ihle’s took office 14 months ago. For the past several months, council members’ displeasure toward the mayor has grown. In the meeting last Tuesday, it was expressed by Garrett that Ihle is not doing the job that he was elected to do. In addition, there were accusations that Ihle did not consult council about decisions he made on his own.
When Ihle finished his statement to council and members of the gallery, the mayor stated that he was leaving council so everyone could to feel free discuss the issues at hand.
As Garrett is second in line for the mayoral seat, she could not chair the meeting as she was presenting the list of grievances. Although, council voted and elected Jared Bloxton to chair the meeting for the evening, Garrett did not leave it up to the discretion of the council elected-chairman when to use the gavel and took the opportunity to tell Bloxton when to do so.
Garrett explained the reason that she requested a VONC.
Said Garrett, “The reason being that I have put this on the agenda was at our last council meeting (see the Thursday, August 29 issue Jackson Star News) is because the mayor would not discuss things. So we’ll just make it public. The reason for some of this is we really have major concerns for the citizens of Ravenswood.
Garrett stated that the may- or doesn’t have any veto powers and all appointments must come to council and gave examples of incidents that would fall under tie vote of council:
1. All new hires and/or firings come before council.
2. All money matters and financial dealings must come before council.
3. All policies and regulations have to come before council.
The city recorder recalled a city council meeting a few weeks ago, where Mrs. Jean Abels was in the audience. Mrs. Abels expressed her dissatisfaction with city council.
Garrett went on to say that Mrs. Abels asked, ‘Tell me one thing that you have accomplished. Because from where I’m sitting, you have accomplished nothing.’ Garrett stated that she agreed and reiterated that council had not accomplished anything.
Said the recorder, “But that is not because we haven’t tried. It’s not because we have not asked for a right to be heard at our council meetings. There have been things going on in the past few months that I have found appalling.”
Page 2 of 2 - When the need came to hire a Class II operator to fill the shoes of Vince Cambarare, Garrett informed that on numerous occasions there were meetings with the State Department of Health, Environmental Services/ rural water representatives. It was important to following state and federal regulations so council would know what was needed to hire a replacement Class II Water Operator.
On the subject of hiring Garrett claimed Ihle allegedly:
1. Did not train replacement operator under Vince Cambarare.
2. Did not speak or negotiate with the union concerning the hiring of a new employee.
3. In a special meeting in March Ihle did not obey an order to advertise the Class II Operator position. Instead Ihle advertised the job via a computer web site.
4. He did not use his own hiring policy and procedures that he passed through council.
5. Ihle could produce no paperwork of applications for the post of class II operator.
6. Ihle was allegedly told that he needed to fill post by July 1 as all wavers would be pulled and ignored council when this problem was mentioned.
7. In addition state and federal guidelines were to be followed for the water plant and were not.
8. Ignored submitted union grievances.
In other allegations, Ihle allegedly:
1. Did not follow through with 25-cent raise for a City employee.
2. He violated polices in place.
3. Ihle will not fine residents for not removing grass from the street gutters.
3. He would not take Garrett up on offer to discuss issues in an executive meeting.
4. He threatened a city employee with the loss of his job if the employee did not do what he was told.
5.Ihle closed the pool on hot days.
6. More or less responsible for move of distillery to Fairplain (Council members did not want the distillery in the first place and two council members admitted to signing a petition to keep it from coming to the City).
Garrett stated that someone needed to tell Ihle that he was not the king. Then later, she added that she hoped that some good results would come from the meeting.