Proposed tweak in Independence mayor's role stirs debate - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Proposed tweak in Independence mayor's role stirs debate


A meeting called just on Friday to consider tweaks to the city's form of government stirred dozens of people to show up or sign petitions resisting a change.

Cooler heads prevailed but a change to who supervises the city manager could still be made.

Mike Hayward was one of dozens of people who jammed Independence City Council chambers Monday night.

A proposed change to city code to shift supervisory power for the city manager's position from the full council to the mayor stirred opposition.

City manager Steve Diers is against the change despite everyone saying he has a good working relationship with mayor Carl Scharff.

"It came up a couple of weeks ago rather suddenly so it leads to some questions as to why and whatnot. I think the intent is good but when you tweak the government from the way it's set up, there's things you need to be cautious about," said Diers.

"I am here every day - too much - the council is here two times a month. They depend on me, if I see something wrong or not to voice my opinion, not saying wrong but difference of opinion...We work fine together. I hope we can continue to do so," said Scharff.

The council wound up not voting on the proposal and sending it to committee.

That's where the council may also consider a move to make all council positions at-large positions and have the council select the mayor - as is done in Iowa City and Webster City.

As for the group that showed up, they're glad the council took a step back.

"That's all we were hoping to accomplish. Just get things to slow down. It seemed like things were a little fishy not to imply anything but the perception was why were we in a big hurry to do this when we've been doing it the other way for quite awhile," said Hayward.


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