The Marion City Council gave preliminary approval Monday to revisions of six ordinances, including one which would remove the residency requirement currently imposed on certain positions.
When the charter ordinance establishing the five-member council was passed in 2005, it required the city administrator, city clerk, deputy city clerk, and city treasurer to live within a three-mile radius of the city.
“What you have before you is the amendment that drops the deputy city clerk and city treasure from the residence requirements, basically amending the ordinance to fit our actual practice,” City Attorney Keith Collett said.
Collett then offered an alternative viewpoint for the council to consider when he suggested removing the residency requirement entirely for all covered positions.
“My preference would be to eliminate this whole section and hire the best people you can,” Collett said. “The best people will want to move to this community anyway. My political advice is to eliminate this section and treat these decisions as appointment decisions and hiring decisions, and treat that as a factor.”
Mayor Mary Olson responded to Collett’s comment.
“The only thing I’d say is that we like to call upon them for community things, we like to see them out in the community doing their thing,” Olson said.
“I have a little bit of concern with not having a residency requirement,” council member Todd Heitschmidt said. “Following along Keith’s thought process, that puts a lot of faith in future councils to stand up for that. I will try to have some faith in our future council folks, and actually the mayor, to make those appointments that fit as we desire them to be.”
The council approved the revision which eliminated the residency requirement for all city positions with a 4-0 vote. Council member Jerry Kline was absent from the meeting.
(Read more in the Marion County RECORD )