SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 1995 AT 6:00 PM
ACTIVITIES ROOM-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
The meeting was called to order at 6:10 by Councilman Toth.
ROLL CALL: Council Members Crawford (absent), Mason (present), Mitzel (present), Pope (absent-excused), Schmid (present), Toth (present), Mayor McLallen (absent)
Present (4) Absent (3-Pope, Crawford*, McLallen*)
*Councilman Crawford and Mayor McLallen arrived at 6:15 PM.
PURPOSE OF SPECIAL MEETING
This special meeting was scheduled to interview candidates for appointment as City Clerk, and applicants for appointment to the Police & Fire Needs Committee, and Taft Road Route Determination Committee.
The following people were interviewed by Council:
Ruth Ann Hamilton - Taft Road Committee
John Connelly - Police & Fire Needs Committee
John Chambers - Police & Fire Needs Committee
Gary Kelber - Police & Fire Needs Committee
James Korte - Taft Road Committee
Debbie Meyers - Police & Fire Needs Committee
Councilwoman Mason read a portion of the charge of the Taft Road Committee which said, "to empower a Taft Road Extension Route Determination Committee comprised of 5 citizens - 1 from LARA, 1 from South Lake Drive-Shawood Lake Homeowners Association, and 3 north end residents at large. She asked if Counci was picking a LARA person and a South Lake/Shawood person or were they allowing those associations to pick their own.
Mayor McLallen said council would choose all 5 members although those associations could make a recommendation.
CITY CLERK DISCUSSION:
Councilman Toth said he did not want to discuss this in any detail right now because it would take a lot longer than a half hour and he had several concerns. This was a council appointment and they have not talked about any financial package such as what salary they were going to offer and what benefits and those things should be discussed in detail by council and not administration.
He said secondly, he was concerned about some of the candidates and he would talk about those at a meeting. He said he wanted to spend at least an hour on these issues and he wanted council to discuss them and did not want recommendations from the administration.
Mayor McLallen said at this time, the majority of council was comfortable making a recommendation on an individual. She said that council had not discussed a financial package and it had not even been brought up by the administration but at the moment there appeared to be a majority ready to make a decision. She said if he didn't want to discuss it now, he would either miss the opportunity or they would have to schedule another meeting.
Councilman Crawford said he felt tonight would be a more comfortable forum if Mr. Toth had concerns about the candidates. He noted that none of them had made a decision on a financial package, however, he would want and encourage administration's input.
Councilman Toth asked why he would want that, and Councilman Crawford said because that was their job - not to chose the clerk but to provide data. He said the city manager was better qualified than he was to recommend a package and he could look at that, make modifications...
Councilman Toth said he felt he was professionally able to decide on a salary and benefit package and other council members had that experience also.
Councilman Crawford said some of them had that experience but all of them did not and even so, he felt they would welcome some input from administration as far as what their opinion was and the qualifications of the candidate they chose.
Councilman Toth said the whole thing was structured in one direction which he was not comfortable or happy with but he agreed to it and went through the whole process and they selected three candidates. He said he didn't want to jump into it and discuss it tonight on the spur of the moment; it was a monumental decision.
Councilman Crawford said he felt the three candidates were the cream of the crop out of the 22 applicants; he did not know what they would accomplish by prolonging this further unless there were some serious shortcomings they were not aware of. He commented that it was only 9:15 and he felt tonight was the night to do it so they could get the new clerk on board.
Councilman Toth said he felt this was self imposed pressure and he didn't want to be part of it.
Councilwoman Mason said the package, other than salary, would basically be whatever administration had, and Councilman Toth said it could be anything this council decided on and he was not in a mood to discuss it tonight.
Councilman Toth left the meeting at 9:20 PM.
Councilwoman Mason said the benefit package had to follow what administration had now and she did not think they would bring in a person making $28,000 At $55,000. Mr. Kriewall commented they would negotiate.
Councilwoman Mason said people changed jobs for an increase in salary but that didn't mean they had to give them the top of the range; Councilman Crawford said he didn't think they had to stick to that range.
Councilwoman Mason said her thought was they would decide on salary and benefits and present that to the main candidate and if that was not accepted, then they would go to their next choice.
Mr. Kriewall said he felt this was basically on the right track; he said he didn't think council would decide exactly who they were going to hire but Council consensus would decide who the top candidate was and administration would sit down with that candidate.
Councilman Schmid said he thought Councilman Toth had some good points and he was sorry that he left. He said they were not rushing into this and the city would function if the position wasn't filled by July 17th. He said administration could provide input but it was council's decision and he didn't see how anything could be announced Monday night because they didn't have a salary yet or even know if the candidate would take the job.
Mayor McLallen said they needed to rank the three candidates and then decide on a financial package and that would take another meeting. At that point, administration would present that package to the top choice of council and if that candidate accepted, then council would make an announcement.
Ed Kriewall said as part of the process to get to what they wanted to offer, a candidate's current salary along with experience had to be part of the process when making a decision. He said he didn't think in a public meeting they would want to decide on what to offer a clerk; that was something usually negotiated through the manager or personnel.
Councilman Mitzel said he was very frustrated about their lack of a plan from this point on; he expected this to be on for Monday night for discussion or action if it was so urgent but it wasn't so apparently it wasn't that urgent and now they were talking about another meeting. He commented that if it had been done right, they could have had that meeting with this one. He said in order to function tomorrow and stay healthy, he needed to eat and get his rest and in view of the late meeting Tuesday and getting up at 4 today and coming to this early meeting without dinner, he would be leaving soon.
Mayor McLallen asked if the members present were willing to reveal their choice this evening. Councilman Mitzel said he would like the chance to read over the material received tonight first.
Councilman Mitzel left the meeting at 9:27 PM.
Councilwoman Mason said she rated the candidates as they were interviewing and felt they should be able to pick a prime candidate by 9:30 and someone from council and administration could meet and decide what they would offer.
Councilman Crawford said he was prepared to rank the candidates also; he didn't feel they were jumping into anything.
Councilman Schmid said this was the first time he had talked with the applicants, and he felt maybe there should be a little time to think about it. He said he had anticipated comments and recommendations from the council committee and administration and maybe Gerry Stipp's thoughts to give him a better basis.
Councilwoman Mason ranked the candidates as 1-Gail Kundinger, 2-Mary Kotowski, and 3-Tonni Burns.
Councilman Schmid ranked Mary Kotowski & Tonni Burns equally and Gail Kundinger third.
Councilman Crawford ranked them as 1-Mary Kotowski, 2-Tonni Burns, and 3-Gail Kundinger.
Mayor McLallen ranked them as 1-Mary Kotowski, 2-Gail Kundinger, and 3-Tonni Burns.
Mr. Kriewall was asked to find out salaries and current benefit packages of the candidates and report back.
There being no further business to come before council, the meeting was adjourned.