The drama continues with the Silvis City Council.
An email was sent Tuesday to several entities, including local media, Silvis Mayor Matt Carter, representatives from the city’s attorney, city administrator Nevada Lemke and city clerk Amy Malmstrom from 4th Ward Alderman Joshua Dyer.
The email reads, “there seems to be some confusion about whether the special meeting will happen this evening at 5:30. The mayor is attempting to prevent the called meeting. OMA says that the posting must be up 48 hours before it is held. The posting was up a couple of minutes after 5:30 on Sunday, and we will hold the meeting a couple of minutes after 5:30 tonight.
“He did not consult with the alderpersons that called the meeting so we could explain our intentions to keep with the provisions of OMA and instructed the city clerk to cancel the special meeting,” Dyer wrote. “I have instructed her to rescind the announcement of the cancellation, but that has not happened. Sorry for the confusion. Again, the special meeting will proceed as originally planned.”
About an hour later Tuesday, an email addressed to Alderman Dyer was forwarded to the same list of entities by Mayor Carter from Keri-Lyn Krafthefer, a partner at Ancel Glink, the city’s attorney. The email reads,
“Dear Alderman Dyer:
“It is our opinion as City Attorneys that this meeting should not occur as it was not posted in accordance with the Open Meetings Act. Starting the meeting later than the posted time does not fix the problem.
“I have heard that some Aldermen are dismissive of the requirements of the Open Meetings Act, but as temporary legal advisors to the City, we would encourage strict compliance with transparency laws,” Krafthefer wrote. “Any action taken at an illegal meeting is void. I would think the Council would want to avoid that.”
“Further, the agenda contains ordinances. While is (sic) appears that the goal of the Council is to hire legislative counsel prior to tonight’s City Council meeting, that will not occur, even if the City passes the ordinance creating the position at the improperly-posted meeting.
“Any ordinance would have to be signed by the Mayor to be effective, unless the Mayor is vetoing the ordinance. Ordinances that involve any commitment to the expenditure of funds, as an ordinance appointing legislative counsel would, are subject to the Mayor’s veto, and then a potential override. If the Mayor vetoes the ordinance, even with a Council override of the veto, you’re two more regular council meetings away from the ordinance taking effect.”
“Accordingly, it is difficult to see why this special meeting cannot occur quickly after a properly compliant posting and notice,” the Naperville, Ill.-based attorney wrote.
“Obviously, you are not obligated to follow our advice, but it would be our recommendation that this meeting be properly noticed in compliance with the Open Meetings Act, and then held, instead of adding the possibility of a violation of the Open Meetings Act and the voiding of any action taken at the meeting into the mix.”
It is unclear at this time whether the special meeting will take place tonight. The regularly scheduled city council meeting will take place at its regularly scheduled time of 6:30 p.m. at Silvis City Hall, 121 11th Street.