Heated debate but no action on Marion city administrator contrac - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Heated debate but no action on Marion city administrator contract

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MARION -- A heated night for the Marion City Council Monday as commissioners considered a contract for city administrator Gail West.

The city attorney is writing up a contract for West, which Mayor Bob Butler said would last four years.

Commissioner Angelo Hightower is the strongest opponent of the measure. He said he thinks whoever becomes the next mayor should be able to pick his own people for certain jobs. Butler argued that means he plans to get rid of everybody.

Hightower likens the deal to President Trump having to keep people in certain jobs who were appointed by President Obama.

"There is no comparison between the federal government and the city of Marion," Butler said.

"That's an apples-to-apples comparison," Hightower responded.

"No, absolutely not, you are misguided there, Angelo," Butler said, to which Hightower said he respectfully disagreed.

Council members Anthony Rinella and John Goss voiced approval for the contract but they also questioned why just the city administrator?

"For example, if our IT guy steps down the city shuts down tomorrow," Goss said.

Rinella suggested contracts for the city administrator, the city treasurer and IT person. During the discussion, council members also suggested a contract for the city clerk. However, no action was taken regarding those suggestions.

Butler said he was fine with those ideas, he just doesn't want employees subject to yearly reviews like Hightower recommends.

"I don't want us to be like Carbondale," Butler said. "Before you do anything over there, you got to have a meeting, you got to have a commission, you have to have a committee, you have to have a review, and that's something we want to stay away from here."

The council has not set a date to address the topic again.

The full video of Monday's council meeting can be seen here. Debate over the city administrator's contract starts here.

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