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City considers interim city attorney post

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 21st, 2013

HURON — The Huron City commission has taken the steps to investigate the idea of an interim city attorney until a permanent replacement for Gerry Kaufman is found.

The discussion of where the city is in finding the replacement was part of the Monday City Commission meeting as an agenda item was to consider the effective date of Kaufman’s resignation.

For the past 10 years, he has served as a part-time city attorney for Huron. He has resigned to become legal counsel for the Associated School Boards of South Dakota, starting at the end of September.

However, he asked the city if it could waive in some part the 60-day notice he needs to give before leaving the position.

Kaufman is not asking for all 60 days to be waived but he did state that he and his future employer would like him in Pierre as soon as reasonably possible.

Kaufman, when asked about a date, mentioned the possibility of leaving around the Sept. 9 meeting or at the end of business the following Tuesday.

That would probably put Kaufman in the position of asking to waive the final 20 days of the 60-day period.

The commission asked Human Resource Director Patricia Schmidt about how the application process has been going and she relayed to the board that no complete application has been submitted but does expect at least one application very soon.

She said that the position has been advertised throughout the state and locally as well as in various lawyer publications.

Kaufman did say that he was not pressuring the commission Monday night and just wanted to give the commission a chance to discuss among themselves on the record about transition.

He said that in any situation of new hire, it will likely take that person an additional 60 days to step into the full time position the city is creating.

That would mean there most likely will be a period of time from the 60 days that Kaufman completes and the 60 days where the new hire takes over where the city will probably have to seek outside advice on legal matters until the transition is complete.

Kaufman did say that the city has had prior agreements from time to time with the Beadle County state’s attorney or deputy state’s attorney to be hired for legal matters.

“There are other attorneys that do have municipal attorney experience that would be able,” said Kaufman. “Again not somebody who would be looking at the position full time but would be willing to assist you on an hourly basis.”

Mayor Paul Aylward then asked for any motions about the discussions.

The 60-day period is standard with most attorney hirings.

The position is listed currently as “open until filled.”

Aylward said he was open to the idea of a temporary attorney.

Commissioner Jan Manolis made the motion to “investigate the opportunity for someone to step in and do it on an hourly basis until we fill the full time position.”

The motion was amended with a target date surrounding the Sept. 9 commission meeting and passed unanimously.

The commission also approved as part of the petitions and communications part of their agenda the on-sale beverage license for the Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau for a Sept. 10 chamber mixer at Farm Credit Services of America.

A plat filed by Donna Steele was also approved on a section of land east of the James River and just north of 21st street SE.

The commission approved on first reading changes to an ordinance pertaining to transient merchants. Most of the changes revolved around setting up a three- to 12- month licensing program and giving the finance department the power to suspend in addition to their ability to revoke said licenses.

As part of the departmental items of the agenda, the commission authorized the mayor to sign the Award for Allocation for Historical Preservation. The allocation helps to pay for trips to state and national historical preservation events and conventions.

The commission also approved the part-time hiring of a golf maintenance position for a summer employee that had to return to school for the fall semester.

They also appointed Katie Wagger to finish out the remainder of the Library Board term of Manfred Shaw. Her term will end of June of 2016.

The waterslide, mushroom water attraction and pump house from the Huron Municipal Pool no longer in use will become part of a surplus auction after being appraised by city officials.

They also approved the gift of a Healthrider total body fitness machine for the city’s wellness room. The item was donated by Jane Kleinsasser.

Two bid items were approved, both concerning the two new water towers which are operational and located in the industrial park and near Dakota Provisions.

The board also approved a variance request concerning the moving of J&J Washout about a half a mile north of where the business is now. The approval is on conditions that it is also approved by the Department of Natural Resources.

The commission also heard an appeal on a nuisance hearing as well as got a report from a recent joint meeting of representatives from Beadle County, the City of Huron and the Huron School District regarding the Pagel Swanson Real Estate Special Assessment.

Both of these items will be featured in upcoming stories.

For the complete article see the 08-20-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-20-2013 paper.

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