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Residency mandate rejected

Staff writer

A charter ordinance to allow Marion to hire officials who live outside the city’s limits passed Monday when city council members voted 4 to 1 in favor.

City councilman Ruth Herbel cast the lone vote against the ordinance. Councilmen Susan Gray, Jerry Kline, Chris Costello, and mayor David Mayfield voted in favor.

The council voted on a slightly different version of the ordinance on June 28. It failed because both Herbel and Kline voted it down.

A charter ordinance requires a vote of more than 60% to pass.

The council’s vote on the ordinance is subject to petition. If a petition would arise and be deemed adequate to challenge the vote, the ordinance would be subject to a public vote.

The ordinance exempted the city from state laws that bar some key officials from living outside the city they serve.

“You can appoint them when you deem it necessary,” city attorney Susan Robson told council members.

“I want people to live in city limits,” Herbel said.

“Then how are you going to solve our dilemma?” Mayfield asked. “We’re sitting here with a real issue. If you’ve got different information, let’s hear it.”

Mayfield also contended it would be discriminatory to tell people the city won’t hire them unless they live in Marion.

In other business, council members voted unanimously to donate $200 toward a four-person scramble charity golf tournament to raise money for Todd Winters, who remains hospitalized after a July 4 accident in which a 2020 Polaris RZR driven by Russell S. Hake, 52, overturned in a ditch on Kellison Rd. east of N. Coble St. The city also agreed to post information about the Sept. 4 fund raiser in its monthly newsletter and on a lighted community information board on Main St.

Last modified July 29, 2021

 

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