DULUTH — There wasn’t much discussion on agenda items during Monday’s city council meeting, but Duluth Mayor Nancy Harris did take time to address the concerns of many on transparency of the city’s government as it’s related to the recent firing of former city manager Tim Shearer.
“Transparency is a hot topic in Duluth right now,” she said. “Let me say that there was no corruption in place when we decided to terminate the city manager. “The lingering questions have been answered and the staff knows those answers. We must have efficient leadership in place. There’s too much gossip going around.
“Executive sessions are a part of city council. It’s an area where we discuss personnel and real estate issues. There are portions of the law that tell us when to discuss things in executive session and when to discuss things in an open meeting. I apologize to those who feel like we were not being open.”
Harris did go on to say that the search for the next city manager has been posted and will remain open until Nov. 19.
“It will be a nationwide search again,” she said. “We hope to have the next city manager in place by April 2014.”
The council also voted to extend the contract with Republic Waste Services with a few modifications, including:
• No CPI adjustment for residential customers in 2013, 2014 or 2015.
• Enhance Recycling Program providing 95-gallon, wheeled carts collected every other week.
• Republic will make available additional recycling carts for city sponsored events, including the Fall Festival.
• Renewal agreement, subject to state law, extends contract to April 31, 2019.
“We hope to improve and enhance the recycling program,” Harris said.
The council also voted to postpone an ordinance calling for an amendment to the FY2014 budget asking for $200 to be added the Bunten Road Park playground budget for expenditures that could “possibly” be incurred.
The council also voted to carry $496,129 from the 2013 city stormwater utility fund to the FY2014 budget and adding $63,000 as well. The approval of the item provided for needed outside consulting services and adding $433,129 to help support needed stormwater repair projects.