Growing pains continue with the Waterloo City Council - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Growing pains continue with the Waterloo City Council

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The growing pains continue at the Waterloo City Council with newly-elected council members continuing to question decisions made by previous councils.

It all started on February 5th when a vote to approve the hiring of a new city mechanic was denied.

The vote left Jonathan Oehlerich unemployed, who had already been offered the job and gave his previous job his two weeks notice.

Monday was the third meeting since the vote. Each time, veteran council member, Pat Morrissey, has asked the vote be reconsidered and argued the vote was out-of-order.

"Given the discussion specifically by Councilperson Klein that this is a budget issue and that she should not be bound by another council's decisions, this council would have first had to rescind the prior council action of 8/28/17," said Morrissey, referring to the meeting in which the past council approved the new position in the budget.

The mayor says he and the city attorney are reviewing the legitimacy of the vote.

 "We are reaching out and taking a look at different cases," Mayor Hart told KWWL. "Council has been asked to reconsider it, and I didn't hear any interest from them to reconsider it at this time."

Council member, Margaret Klein, spoke at Monday's meeting for the first time about the issue during council since the initial vote.

"I have listened now for these past few weeks to what I consider harassment of a vote. I used my conscience," said Klein.

The meeting then moved on.  However, Klein spoke out again during a public hearing to approve the purchase of land that is part of an industrial development plan contracted back in 2010. 

"It is listed for us to give a yes or no answer, but no is clearly not an option. This is ridiculous," said Klein.

The public hearing and vote are required by the state. The vote built on roads laid by previous councils.

"We are taking a look overall today and investing in the future of people in the community tomorrow," said Mayor Hart.

Klein went on to approve the purchase of land. The vote was unanimous.

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