(Atlantic) Atlantic Mayor Dave Jones says there will not be a closed session to discuss personnel issues at the April 17th city council meeting. Prior to the last City Council meeting, some members of the community thought the City Council was unhappy with City Administrator Doug Harris. The Council had planned to go into closed session at that meeting to discuss personnel matters, but as was pointed out by Jeff Lundquist, of the Atlantic News Telegraph, the employee to be discussed had not requested that the discussion take place in closed session so it was tabled.
After the meeting Mayor Jones says he consulted with City Attorney Dave Wiederstein, and it was determined that closed-meeting discussions over personnel matters should be limited to annual performance evaluations or disciplinary matters. The City Attorney thought it was appropriate for him and the Mayor to personally discuss with Doug the employment issue, and that a statement could be placed in the personnel file. Jones says there will be no need for a public or closed discussion on this matter.
KSOM News asked Mayor Jones, “So is Doug Harris’ job in jeopardy?”
Mayor Jones replied, “Nope, it never has been, never has been.”
Mayor Jones says he admits having differing opinions with City Administrator Doug Harris, in some areas of economic development.
“I tell people to go out to Nishna Hills and stand in the parking lot and look to the south and remember what that looked like in 1996 and now see what it looks like,” stated Jones. “Most of that was developed through T.I.F or tax abatement money and one certain person is probably involved in a lot of it, but it all got developed and look at it now. That is what T.I.F. and Tax Abatement does and that is the difference.”
So how do their philosophies differ?
“Doug would rather see no tax payer money put into it, and that is the difference in our philosophies.”
Jones says the two have had civil and constructive discussions and have talked about the issue that was originally discussion scheduled behind closed doors at the April 3rd meeting.
Mayor Jones says he looks forward to an effective working relationship moving forward.
April 12, 2013
2:00 p.m. newsupdate