There is no clerk

Cat’s out of the bag. I was going to save this discussion for June, when DeKalb city council takes up the matter of compensation for the next elected terms of offices. Then at last night’s council meeting, following disposal of ordinances, the mayor announced I was going to go to city hall the next day to sign off on the Ventus Project paperwork.

The last time I signed off on ordinances, it was early November, 2019. So I have questions, and I asked them during the “reports and announcements” portion of the meeting.

Here is a partial transcript of the exchange. (I’ll also post a link to the recording.)

Fazekas: The second thing is about your request that I come to city hall to sign off on the Ventus paperwork. I am isolating at this point and for good reason. However, I have some questions. I would like the public to know that I have not signed any ordinances, or resolutions, or contracts, since early November. I have not signed any licenses since mid-December. This is all the natural consequences of the ordinances that were passed in October having to do with the clerk’s position. Over the past few months I’ve seen, more and more, taking from my role, even while I was maintaining my office hours.

So my question, which I have not been able to get an answer to, is why suddenly [drowned out by phone conference announcement of a participant exit and having to re-establish connection]. What I’m saying is, I need to know whether this is a matter of convenience for the city, or if there is some vital reason that I need to end my isolation and come in and sign these documents.

City Manager (CM): Mayor, may I address that, please?

Mayor: Yeah, and I’d like to add that ending the isolation is not necessary. We can deliver those to–

CM: Well they can be delivered, Mayor, or, as the council made clear in October, in the absence of the clerk we can expedite the execution of these documents–

Fazekas: I’m sorry, I cannot hear the city manager.

CM: The mayor can hand-deliver documents to stand in front of you and sign. You can attest. If that’s not convenient for you or you feel there’s a health risk in that, Lynn, we will execute the documents here as the ordinance that was passed in October allow (sic) the city to do. The executive assistant could do that, and then we can get these over to the county to be recorded. Because until they’re recorded, all the work that we put in tonight, and all the work that everybody’s put in for the past year, comes to naught. They have to be matters of record, and they will be tomorrow, one way or another. So if you want to work with us on that, Lynn, we’re happy to work with you. If you have some reservations about that, then we’ll proceed in another fashion.

Fazekas: I want to know why you need me now, and you haven’t needed me for four months.

CM: Well, I don’t know whether we need you. We’re just asking if you want to work with us on this, so if you don’t want to work with us on this, we’ll proceed. It’s important to the city that we execute these documents and expedite them, because the developer right now, the project, is ready to proceed. And they have a timeline to get done with some of their building by the end of the year. And, as you know, time is wasting. And this is the construction season, the best time to get going, so we’d like to do that.

Fazekas: Ruth Scott has been “expediting” things for many months now.

CM: Yes.

Fazekas: And so, what I’m thinking– I don’t know what to think. But it kind of smells.

Link: Click here and go to 3:24:45 of the recording.