Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

City Clerk's Job Arouses Debate and Questions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

City Clerk's Job Arouses Debate and Questions

Article excerpt

St. Peters has been advertising for a new city clerk, and Alderman Len Pagano thinks the cart has been put before the horse. No one had actually defined the position or set a salary scale or even explained what would become of the employees currently handling the city clerk's duties.

So Pagano, 3rd Ward, wanted to discuss the issue at Thursday night's open workshop meeting of the Board of Aldermen. Inasmuch as it dealt with personnel issues affecting both Janice Simmons and Phyliss Zilm, Pagano moved the discussion to a closed session. Simmons is current city clerk and also is the office manager at City Hall and liquor commissioner in St. Peters; Zilm works as a secretary for the board.

After the board discussed other items in the closed session, Pagano began to speak about the city clerk's position. Mayor Tom Brown and Alderman Lew McLain, 4th Ward, told Pagano that this discussion should be done in an open meeting. The mayor invited anyone into the room. But reporters covering the meeting that evening had left City Hall because the board had voted to adjourn the meeting before the closed session. Pagano called the St. Charles Post on Friday to apologize for the impromptu open meeting. Pagano said he told the mayor and the board that he wanted to know: What the new position would pay and what grade it would be? "Are we eliminating these two individuals from the payroll? Are they going out the door?" Pagano said the board had voted to advertise for a new city clerk "when I was gone, and I don't know if they did it in executive session or at a work-shop meeting. Nobody knows what's going (on), to tell you the truth." McLain, now serving as aldermanic president, said, "Nobody's job is being eliminated. Robert Irvin (former city administrator) did this job for a number of years, and other people helped him. Other people, like Janice and Phyliss, can still help the city clerk." McLain said that the job of city clerk still hasn't been defined but that it would be a full-time position. Simmons and Zilm already have full-time positions with the city. "These people are up here at City Hall late at night all the time," McLain said. …

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