BAKER — The City Council voted Tuesday to seek an attorney general’s opinion on the validity of key city appointments Mayor Harold Rideau made last month with the concurrence of outgoing council members.
The mayor appointed a city attorney and city treasurer at the council’s June 26 meeting, and the three council members defeated in the spring elections concurred with the appointments.
The council members who took office July 1 already have declared the positions “vacant,” but Councilman Charles Vincent said the attorney general will be asked whether the city’s home-rule charter allows the council to confirm a mayoral appointment “for any period that exceeds its term in office.”
The resolution also asks the same question regarding the council clerk and city auditor, which are chosen by the council.
The lame-duck members appointed a city clerk and auditor, but the new members voted July 10 to declare the positions also “vacant.”
Ken Fabre, Rideau’s choice for city attorney, continues to give legal advice to the council and Council Clerk Angela Canady is continuing with her duties, but the resolution asks the attorney general if they are entitled to be paid if the appointments are invalid.
Rideau was out of town Tuesday and did not attend the meeting.
In related matters left from the June 26 and July 10 meetings, the council again deferred appointing a city engineer, with Councilman John Givens saying he has questions about a road overlay project for which Professional Engineering Consultants did the engineering work and recommended the streets for repair.
Complaints about clods of clay showing up in the overlay asphalt arose in February, and an independent laboratory’s study of the workmanship has not been completed.
The council also deferred approving Jean Byers’ contract as coordinator of programs, projects and events until a provision is added to give the city or Byers the option of cancelling it with 30 days notice. One of Byers’ duties is overseeing the city’s museum.