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Bessemer council to seek second legal opinion on city manager issue

 


By TOM STANKARD

tstankard@yourdailyglobe.com

Bessemer — After coming out of closed session, the Bessemer City Council voted Monday to seek “a second legal opinion” about the Bessemer city manager position and request the city attorney to contact past City Manager Michael Uskiewicz to collect more information regarding the issue.

At a Dec. 7 meeting, the council voted to buy-out Uskiewicz’s contract and appointed former Wakefield City Manager Margot Anderson as his replacement, pending Anderson’s approval. At that time, the council also agreed that the council would interview Anderson. Following the meeting, there has been confusion about what the terminology of the motion meant.

Since the meeting on Dec. 7, Uskiewicz has signed a contract accepting part of his severance package and Anderson has signed a contract to accept the position of interim city manager.

Because Uskiewicz has not received his full severance package, city Attorney Michael Korpela said at a special meeting Thursday, Dec. 17 that he is still a city employee. Once the council buys out what’s left of his severence package, Korpela said he will no longer be a city employee.

A number of council members think the contracts drawn up are not valid. Following a closes session at the Dec. 17 meeting, Korpela said the council voted not to take any action at that time concerning the two city manger issue.

With the issue unresolved, the council went into another closed session Monday. Back in open session, council member John Frello said the council will seek “additional legal advice and request City Clerk Jim Trudgeon to talk to an attorney to see if they are available to offer a letter of legal services.”

In addition, the council approved to have Korpela get in contact with Uskiewicz to “request he provide additional information for proceeding,” Frello said.

In other action during the meeting:

—The council voted in favor of putting the “sale or the trade” of the excavator “into the Department of Public Work’s hands.”

— The council assigned a street administrator

 
 

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