City Council holds January meeting

January 09, 2019

A presentation detailing the findings of the city's annual financial audit that was slated for the Thursday meeting of the Blackwell City Council has been postponed due to inclement weather.

The Council met in regular session Thursday night for its first meeting of 2019. A presentation from the city's auditing firm was on the agenda for the meeting, but representatives from the firm were unable to attend the meeting due to weather concerns. The audit report, which was of the 2017-2018 fiscal year, was tabled.

In other news during the meeting, Council members heard reports from various city departments, including the police department, the fire department, the code enforcement department, the golf course authority board, and the airport authority board. In all reports, agency representatives detailed what their agency had done in the previous year and presented statistics about their budgets going into 2019. Chief of Police Dewayne Wood noted that he would have a “comprehensive statistics report” at the next meeting that will tally up the number of arrests made and citations issued by the department in 2018.

After hearing from agency representatives, Council members convened in executive session to further discuss hiring a permanent city manager. Council members were in executive session for much of the nearly two-hour meeting, but ultimately decided to retain City Clerk Merry Whitham as the interim city manager.

The manager's seat was left vacant following the unexpected November retirement of then-manager Thomas “Chip” Outhier, who had served as manager for four years. Whitham was appointed to fill the vacant position and receives a $1,000-per-month stipend while acting as manager.