May 6, 2014


Audubon City Council members plan to interview candidates and appoint one to replace longtime City Clerk Lora Hansen in a special meeting set for Wednesday.

A committee of five people winnowed the group of job applicants in the past few weeks, and the Council will likely conduct the interviews Wednesday in a closed session, which means the public is barred from the proceedings.

However, the Council must take a public vote to hire one of the applicants.

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, 410 N. Park Place.

The meeting's agenda says council members will vote to hire a new clerk and then to remove Hansen.

The city clerk job has been in flux since Jan. 13, when the council abruptly voted to replace Hansen but broke two state laws in the process. The issue has dragged out for months as the city erred in advertising for job applicants and briefly considered - but ultimately avoided - compromises that would have given Hansen an opportunity to prove whether she could handle new job expectations.

The Council adopted last month a new job description that expands the clerk's responsibilities to include economic-development work and state and federal grant writing, among others. Councilman Jason Hocker said at the time that the clerk's salary might need to be increased to attract a job candidate capable of those added responsibilities. Hansen's base salary is $37,000, which is more than $10,000 shy of the city administrator's salary of Manning, whose job description is similar.

Hansen and Audubon interim City Attorney David Wiederstein had negotiated in the past month a deal in which Hansen would receive a severance payout if she resigned, but those talks fizzled.