A motion by members of the Board of Trustees that sought to decentralize the power of appointments for village positions failed to pass at the trustees’ May meeting.
Mayor Martin Oliner called the move “inappropriate” and “unnecessary.”
“This administration has been appropriate with its selections,” he said. “There’s no basis for changing the law in any way.”
The mayor of Lawrence has appointment power, subject to approval of the board, with exceptions, according to village law. The mayor is the only one who can put forward nominations. The motion put forward by the trustees would have allowed village residents to vote on the issue at an upcoming election.
Deputy Mayor Joel Mael and Trustee Michael Fragin voted yes to the motion. Oliner and Trustee Felder voted no, and Trustee Ed Klar abstained.
Fragin argued that many appointments had not been made.
“I would not want such a local law to pass if I were sitting in your chair,” he said. “After a year and a half, I do think it’s drastic, but necessary.”
With only a month left in their terms, the board validated the mayor’s list of appointments.
Ronald Goldman, the village’s former attorney and current president of the Lawrence Association, said the village was trying to change precedent with this motion.
“Other eyes and legal minds have decided the power should rest with the mayor,” he said. “When I fight with my wife, I don’t change the laws of marriage.”
The board of trustees held a public hearing on the village’s contract with the , which remains the same except for an increase of payments to $44,000 a month.
The department is also seeking approval for its plan to its firehouse, which would add additional provisions to the contract.
Board members said they would like the village attorney to review the contract, and voted to continue the hearing at their June meeting.
A “shocking” low number of 11 tickets were given in the village in March, Mael said.
Sgt. Caldwell of the , who was present at the meeting, said the low number might be due to “laziness” or “holidays.” He also pointed out that under the new county precinct plan, all enforcement cars have been sent out on patrol. Caldwell said he’d see what he could do to boost enforcement.
Final Word on OU Matter?
Goldman once again directly asked Fragin if he put up the ad for CEO of Lawrence on the website.
“You don’t want to move on an issue, other people do, you can’t hold it up,” Goldman said.
In response, Fragin answered, “I find the question to be inappropriate.”