By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
City Attorney chosen as next administrator, but contract not yet approved
Placeholder Image
MONROE - Mayor Ron Marsh called a special meeting of the Monroe Common Council for 8:15 p.m. Friday at City Hall, for the purpose of voting to approve a contract agreement with Rex Ewald, Monroe, for the position of city administrator with legal duties.

The special meeting was called following a decision by attorney Todd Schluesche, of Kittelsen, Barry, Wellington, Thompson, & Schluesche law firm of Monroe, that council had voted 6 to 4 to approve a motion by Alderman Thurston Hanson only to take a vote on the contract agreement, not actually approve it.

Schluesche was hired specifically to advise council during the hiring process.

He listened to an audio recording of the open session several times before making his determination that the council had not actually approved a contract for Ewald.

"I don't think you approved the contract," he finally said to Marsh.

Aldermen Thurston Hanson, Kent Kallembach and Charles Schuringa also remained after council adjourned to hear clarification of the motion.

Schuringa and Kallembach both said they understood the motion was to proceed with a vote on the contract, not specifically to approve the contract.

"I accept full responsibility for missing one or two words, those words being "hire" or "approve," when I made my motion. I made a mistake," Hanson said.

Hanson said his intent - voting to approve the contract agreement and hire a candidate - was not made clear.

"It was unclear to some council members that was my intent," he said.

Paul Hannes, Mark Coplien, Jan Lefevre, Charles Koch, Keith Ingwell and Kallembach voted in favor of the motion, Hanson, Schuringa, Dan Henke and Neal Hunter voted against it.

On a previous motion "to postpone this issue indefinitely," made by Henke, Marsh voted "no" to break council's tie vote.

Marsh took more than a minute before declaring his vote.

Hunter, Ingwell, Henke, Kallembach and Schuringa voted in favor, while Hannes, Coplien, Lefevre, Koch and Hanson voted no.

Ewald will have to accept the contract agreement as it was made and amended before hiring is finalized.

James Mogen of Rice, Minn., was the other candidates being considered.

Council members discussed contract agreements and the candidates for two hours in closed session Thursday before assembling in the council chamber to take the votes.