Marion’s commission-to-council change scheduled for approval at Dec. 28 meeting

The Marion City Commission Monday received for final study an ordinance drawn up by City Attorney Dan Baldwin that would change the city government from a three-member commission to a five-member council.

The ordinance is scheduled for approval at the Dec. 28 meeting.

The change would take effect following the April 2006 election in which voters would select three new councilors from the city at large, according to the ordinance.

Voters also would select a fourth councilor for the seat now occupied by Max Hayen, who is finishing the term begun by Larry McLain who resigned because of illness.

Of the councilors filling the newly created seats, the two receiving the highest vote totals would serve four-year terms, and the one receiving the lowest total would serve a two-year-term, according to the ordinance.

The current commission includes a mayor, a commissioner of finance and revenue, and a commissioner of streets and public utilities. The new ordinance would create positions for a mayor and four councilors.

To even out the election process, the ordinance says a new mayor would be elected in April 2007, two four-year-term councilors would be elected in April 2008, and another two four-year-term councilors plus a mayor would be elected in April 2010.

Merle Bruner, who was on the agenda to ask about the proposed city government change, had part of this explained to him by Mayor Martin Tice.

Bruner also addressed commissioners concerning his contention that it is inappropriate for salaried appointed employees to receive pay for compensating time. Bruner said persons taking such positions should realize they can be expected to put in extra time without more money “because that is why they are paid the big bucks.”

Commissioner Max Hayen noted that appointed county officials are allowed to take compensating time as time off when they want to. Hayen said an earlier county ambulance director who wanted paid for extra time was not allowed it.

The commissioners approved 2006 city licenses for electric, plumbing, juke box, vendors, video and cereal malt beverage.

They approved paying warrants for $14,668.06.

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