The attorney fees regarding the investigation of City Administrator Lisa Kotter, and the negotiations that followed, have reached more than $17,000.
Clintonville Mayor Judy Magee went through each attorney invoice with the council at its meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 9.
Attorney Warren Kraft of the Murphy Desmond law firm, who was hired to investigate Kotter, submitted an invoice for $5,937.55 on July 2. This included $5,600 for the investigation.
The invoice also included $218.75 for 1.25 hours of teleconferences with Alderman Mary Beth Kuester and City Attorney April Dunlavy, including email exchanges with them. The invoice also included $118.80, including $1.20 for telephone usage and $117.60 for mileage for Kraft to travel to Clintonville.
Invoices from attorneys Robert Burns and James Macy of the Davis/Kuelthau law firm totaled $11,495.01 through the end of August, including mileage reimbursement.
As of the end of August the total for attorney fees regarding the investigation and negotiations was at $17,432.56.
The city also paid Kraft $1,478.40 to be special counsel for the city council regarding how the city attorney position was to be filled.
The council unanimously accepted the resignation from Alderman Jerry Jorgenson. Alderman Mark Doornink was excused from the meeting.
During discussion, Alderman Greg Rose said, “It’s unfortunate that he chose to resign. We’ll miss him. I enjoyed working with Jerry and should our paths cross again I look forward to working with him in the future.”
The council will solicit applications from interested parties in Jorgenson’s district. From the list of candidates the council will appoint someone at the October council meeting to fill Jorgenson’s seat on the council. The term will expire in April 2015.
Jeannie Schley said the street light issue is being discussed. She said there are 700 street lights in the city, with 200 of them owned by the city. The rest are owned by the utility.
“We’re still kind of haggling back and forth as to who would bear the burden of the cost,” Schley said.
She added, “It is being looked into. We know it’s dark and people want the lights on.”
“Moving towards this is important but it’s much more complicated than it might seem on the surface,” Alderman Bill Zienert said.
He said the ownership of the lights has to be resolved, then the cost to replace the lights needs to be figured out, as well as the cost to run the lights once they are installed.
“We are committed to getting the lights back on. The question is going to be how many can we put back on and when,” Zienert said.
Magee informed the council that the Graceland Cemetery Association is almost out of money. The city owns the cemetery.
Fewer grave sites are being sold. Magee said there are less burials, and more cremations, which means less money is coming in.
Magee said she will know more information next month.
“The association is looking at additional funding from the city to meet monthly expenses or they will need to dissolve the cemetery association. Then the city will receive the cemetery back and all of the duties that go with it,” Magee said.
The cemetery association has been taking care of the cemetery since 1955, as far back as records go, Magee said.
• The council unanimously approved sending the employee handbook to the Personnel Committee for review.
• The council unanimously approved appointing Alderwoman Gloria Dunlavy to chair the Safety & Ordinance Committee. The committee had been chaired by Jorgenson.
• The council unanimously approved sending the citizens forum concept to the Safety & Ordinance Committee for review and possible action.
• The council unanimously approved a canine agreement with the police department.
• The council was informed that it doesn’t need to create a municipal code allowing elected officials to do open records requests at no charge. In an email, April Dunlavy stated that in the city’s municipal coade relating to access to public records, it states, “Elected officials of the city shall not be required to pay for public records they may reasonably require for the proper performance of their official duties.”