About 75 onlookers attended Monday’s meeting.
Following the regular business meeting and an hour and a half of executive sessions for personnel with both Mayfield and City Attorney Dan Baldwin, Mayor Mary Olson reversed her stance from last week—favoring Mayfield’s dismissal—to join the majority of councilors in approving the appointments.
She then announced that she was dispensing with the regular public forum and department head reports that typically come at the end of a meeting.
After the meeting, Olson answered questions, saying she could only answer for herself on the decision and not for the councilors.
She said that on the personnel issue with Mayfield, after careful investigation and discussion, she was able to discuss personal issues and problems with Mayfield sufficiently for him to continue.
Olson said she didn’t want the issue to continue being divisive for the city, and that it is time to move forward.
She cited a 5-0 council decision at the meeting to award a $1.28 a square yard street surfacing bid to APAC Shears of Emporia for 111,000 cubic yards of street surfacing as something the council needs Mayfield to act on immediately.
Street repairs and construction are becoming critical in Marion, Olson said, and she is confident Mayfield has the skill to move the city ahead on them.
Alternative bids on the street surfacing presented by Street Superintendent Marty Fredrickson were $1.54 a square yard from Vance Bros. of Kansas City, and $1.44 a square yard from High Plains Sand of Kanopolis.
Councilor Gene Winkler said Prairie View, mental health provider in the area, has to vacate its current building to provide expanded area for St. Luke Clinic to include new doctors by June 30.
Winkler said Prairie View provides 30-plus jobs in Marion.
Economic Development Director Jami Williams said a builder from Iowa will put up a building that he will rent to Prairie View, but six months are needed to complete the building. The city needs a temporary spot for Prairie View to retain it, she said.
Businessman Jim Clouthier suggested the city ask the school system to temporarily provide space for Prairie View.
Williams said she thought that was an excellent suggestion.
Rodney Richmond, reporting for the Recreation Commission, said 21 baseball and softball teams are expected to compete in the Marion program this summer with the first game scheduled at the end of May.
Richmond said junior and adult golf will be provided this summer, and children’s theater if there is sufficient interest.
Richmond said the Rec is investigating the possibility of sponsoring a fall volleyball league.
The councilors voted 5-0 to provide full-time employees with Chingawassa Days buttons upon request as an employee benefit.
The basketball court in Central Park was designated as the spot for Saturday night fireworks on Chingawassa Days instead of the water tower by the high school, as was done last year.
The councilors approved 5-0 an ordinance designating truck routes through town, with an amendment that Main Street also be identified as U.S. Highway 256.
The councilors approved payment of $72,000 as the second half of funds due to Flaming Metal Systems for the spec building in Batt Industrial Park.
They also approved a payment of $242,777.50 to Walters Morgan Construction Co., which Clerk Angela Lange said brought the city to 82 percent completion on payments to the company working on the water-plant upgrade.