Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mayor and Council restructure personnel authority in Rockville city clerk, attorney offices

A number of changes to the city code that would transfer powers currently under the City Manager to the City Attorney and City Clerk passed 3-2, with Councilmembers Tom Moore and Julie Palakovich Carr opposed. Both officers would now have direct supervisory, and hiring and firing power, over employees in their respective offices. The City Clerk would also gain the title of Director of the Council.

Mayor Bridget Donnell Newton proposed an amendment to strike language that she felt would have prevented the council, as a body, from weighing in with the City Manager, City Attorney or City Clerk on personnel under their respective supervision.

Moore said he thought Newton would prefer to have the Strong Mayor form of government in the city, rather than the current Council-Manager form.

"I will thank you not to put words in my mouth, thoughts in my head, or dreams in my heart," Newton retorted.

"I am frightened," Moore went on minutes later, that the mayor believes she has hiring and firing authority over employees supervised by the City Manager, City Attorney and City Clerk.

"I am going to ask you to knock it off, and not put words in my mouth," Newton replied.

Newton's amendment passed 3-2. A similar amendment to another of the code changes also passed 3-2.

Photo courtesy City of Rockville

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