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May-16-2008 12:44printcomments

Flare Up at Stayton City Council Meeting

Politics in a small Oregon community get heated, but end in resolve.

(STAYTON, Ore.) - The Stayton City Council work session to review applications for the permanent city administrator was originally scheduled to be held in the Stayton Community Center. Upon arrival, it was found that the air conditioning was not working, so with 88 degree temperature outside and inside, the meeting was moved to the air conditioned city hall.

Mike McCauley, from the League Of Oregon Cities (LOC) was the facilitator for the city and he brought 21 applications for the council to review for City Administrator.

It was suggested by city councilor Don Walters, that the council should consider looking at the current interim administrator, Don Eubanks, as he has been with the city for ten years as police chief and has been doing a good job as the acting city administrator and is interested in the positin. It was noted that Eubanks does not have a Master Degree in city administration, but he has been very capable. The council agreed that they should look at all the candidates with the qualifications and interest first and if they do not find the right applicant, then they should consider Eubanks.

As the council went through the 21 applicants, they eliminated all but 6. They agreed that the most expedient way to interview them would be by telephone conference calls, one at a time.

Then the discussion turned to the meeting getting out of control and the question came up about who was running the meeting. Mayor Honeywell said she was, and asked councilors Grimes and Frank "to refrain from trying to take over the meeting."

Councilor Grimes and Frank asked the Mayor "to not be disrespectful and quit talking down to them."

The air was tense for a few minutes and the mayor asked "that a police officer be present for the rest of the meeting as she felt that the two councilors were out of line with their remarks and their attitude was threatening toward her."

Grimes then asked the mayor "to tone down her remarks or he would ask the present council to consider a vote of no confidence for her and have her removed from the meeting."

At the point the meeting was back on track with everyone trying to get to the business at hand and agreeing to the council selection process and a phone interview with the applicants Monday May 19th.

At the end of the meeting, councilor Grimes apologized for losing his temper. Mayor Honeywell accepted his apology and Grimes went on to say, "that in the future, he would appreciate it if the mayor would not talk down to him."

"She said that she has her own management style, but would do her best". The meeting then ended, quietly.

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