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Backlog in publishing council minutes
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MONROE - The City of Monroe will be playing catchup during the next few weeks to get Common Council minutes from the past 19 months published as required by law.

Today's Monroe Times' classifieds pages include the first in what will be a series of paid legal notices from the City of Monroe publishing council meeting minutes starting with May 13, 2008.

Wisconsin state statutes require council meeting minutes to be published in a designated official newspaper, though the law doesn't indicate a deadline for publication. Many, but not all, of the council meeting minutes are posted on the city's Web site.

"We're getting there, we really are," City Clerk Carol Stamm said of catching up with the notices.

Stamm said the council minutes haven't been published yet due to short staff, turnover in help and the absence of a city administrator since May 2008. She said 2009 has been a busy, and rough, year for the clerk's office. Stamm records minutes for at least 15 city committees and the council, some of which meet twice a month.

From Walmart building its Supercenter on Monroe's west side to the downtown reconstruction and streetscape project and hiring a new administrator, city committees have been meeting more often in the past year than in previous years.

Having a city administrator would "take quite a bit of burden off the clerk's office," Stamm said.

The council has been meeting for the past five months to redefine the administrator position - placing city attorney responsibilities in the job description - and interviewing candidates. Current City Attorney Rex Ewald and James Mogen, of Rice, Minn., are the two finalists. They met with the council for a second time Nov. 18. No meetings are scheduled for this week to finish up the hiring process.