The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

City, Once Again, Without A Water Superintendent

Megan McNeill/Hancock County Journal-Pilot

Due to technicalities concerning personnel policies and the Open Meetings Act, La Harpe is once again without a water superintendent.

City Attorney Kurt Dittmer said Monday the La Harpe City Council's March 14 vote to reject the resignation of Tim Graves was null and void. Graves gave his two weeks' notice Feb. 25, stating he would no longer work for the city as of March 13.

Mayor Ryan Kienast accepted Graves' resignation in the form of a letter dated Feb. 26.

"No matter what we said or did, we could not bring him back because he terminated himself as of March 13, and the meeting was March 14," Kienast said.

Pursuant to the Open Meetings Act, the council's vote for Graves to stay was illegitimate because it wasn't on the agenda, according to Dittmer.

"For an item to be acted on, it has to be placed on the agenda 48 hours prior (to the meeting)," he said. "Whether it was an oversight or not, I don't know."

Kienast said Dittmer contacted him about the errors Monday. Kienast then notified Graves that he needed to hand over the Water Department vehicle and other city property, as he was not legally employed by the city.

Graves said Tuesday that Dittmer and the city are considering the option of amending personnel policies so that Graves can be rehired. Otherwise, Graves will need to reapply for his old job.

The council planned to hold a special meeting at 8 p.m. this evening, March 23 at the La Harpe Community Clubhouse to discuss the matter.

"I'm not going to cause any problems," Graves said. "I'm just going to deal with this and see what happens."

He added that he's not sure he'll be willing "to go through the whole process" of reapplying for the water superintendent position.