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Glenwood Fills Vacated Council Seat

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

In a somewhat awkward and irregular manner, the city of Glenwood has filled its vacant seat on the city council.

The appointment of Kay LeFever was approved during the city council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 27.

LeFever was one of three Glenwood residents who had asked to be considered for the at-large seat that became available when Ron Bales retired on Dec. 31. Susan Hirschman and Lyn Mintle also sought consideration for the seat.

The appointment process began with council members being given paper ballots and directed by Mayor Dyle Downing to vote for the person of their choice to fill the empty seat. The secret ballots where then collected and the results read aloud.

LeFever received 2 votes, Hirschman 1 and Mintle 1.

After the tally of votes was announced, audience member Gary Newman questioned the legality of the process, stating that a secret ballot vote of council members is forbidden by Iowa’s open meetings law.

The city council had no legal counsel present at the time the vote was taken.

After brief discussion, council members Craig Florian, Clare Bangs, Allan Christiansen and Kim Clark all publicly stated who they had voted for.

The council then proceeded to approve LeFever’s appointment.

The section of the Iowa Code pertaining to governmental agencies and open meetings states, “The minutes shall show the results of each vote taken and information sufficient to indicate the vote of each member present.”