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McLouth councilwoman at odds with fellow council members again

by Dennis Sharkey

McLouth City Councilwoman Barbara Hasemeier is at odds with fellow council members again.

Last week council members voted 4-0 to set a date for Hasemeier to pay an outstanding debt nearly a year old to the city. Hasemeier abstained from the vote.

The amount of the debt is $172.50. The money is owed from a conference that Hasemeier attended for newly elected officials last May.

Last year Hasemeier was at odds with the council over taking the trip. No one on the council had a problem with her attending the event, but council members wanted Hasemeier to pay her own fees.

Councilman George Bowen attended the same conference and paid his fees.

“We can’t go after these people owing money to the city when an elected official owes money to the city,” Bowen said. “We’ve given them an opportunity and they haven’t done it.

“You can’t run the city if you owe money,” he added. “There’s a conflict there all the time.”

Councilman Harlan Woodring said the matter has been brought up in closed session and that council members tried working out a payment plan with Hasemeier without cooperation.

Council members approved a resolution for Hasemeier to pay the bill by the first meeting in May or otherwise request a resignation from Hasemeier.

City Attorney Carol Bonebrake said an elected official can resign at anytime without a reason given. However the only way an elected official can be removed from office is by a recall election.

“This elected body cannot remove another elected official,” Bonebrake said.

Bonebrake agreed with council members that the outstanding bill could cause conflicts and affect that person’s ability to do their duty.

“That person would be totally ineffective,” she said.

Hasemeier abstained from two other votes during the meeting that also dealt with a resident owing money to the city.

On Monday, City Clerk Kim Perry confirmed that the city had received a check from Hasemeier for the full amount, although the check had not cleared the bank yet.

A list of outstanding debts owed to the city is posted at www.cityofmclouth.org.

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Posted by on Apr 18 2011. Filed under Government, McLouth, Municipalities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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