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Council plans to replace O'Neill at next meeting



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O'Neill
May 17, 2012 | 10:30 AM
A replacement for former Alderman Terry O'Neill, who resigned at the Committee of the Whole meeting May 7, may be appointed by the city council as early as the next council meeting on May 29.

Alderman Jeff Wall requested the city advertise for candidates in the Fourth Ward who might be interested in filling the rest of O'Neill's term, which ends April 2013.

Council members agreed in principal that they will not let the position remain vacant into next month.

In the past, mayors appointed replacements to the council or set special elections with the advice and consent of the council.

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However, Mayor Jim Connors said state law gives the privilege of appointing council members to the city council.

The council is planning to appoint a replacement for O'Neill because the next time the city could go to a special election for the seat would be in November. Whoever was elected at that special election would then only sit for about six months before the next spring election in April 2013.

At the committee of the whole, O'Neill announced he would resign effective the next day.

In a letter to the city clerk, O'Neill said the council members and citizens are being intimidated into supporting the objectives of "those who control the city."

Without mentioning City Administrator Dennis Jordan by name, O'Neill accused the "nonelected city officials" of covering up litigation the city was involved in.

He said he also chafed under the open meetings law, which required him to keep silent on issues that were discussed in closed session.

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