City attorney in
think the voters elected me to effect change in the city government. In
order to do that, I really do need to have a city attorney who has some
fresh ideas and a fresh perspective."
Express Staff Writer
Mayor-elect Ed Simon indicated last week that he plans to replace Ketchum
City Attorney Margaret Simms when he takes office in January.
think the voters elected me to effect change in the city government,"
Simon said. "In order to do that, I really do need to have a city
attorney who has some fresh ideas and a fresh perspective."
he has already selected a potential replacement but would not share his or
came as a surprise to City Attorney Margaret Simms, who said she had not
planned to leave her job in the near future. Simms added that she was
disappointed to have learned about Simonís intentions through the local
grapevine, rather than from Simon himself.
allows for removal of appointed employees by a majority vote if initiated
by the mayor and by a unanimous vote if initiated by the city council.
A new city
attorney must be appointed by the mayor and confirmed by a majority of the
the city council shall refuse to confirm any nomination, the mayor shall
then within 10 days thereafter, nominate another person to fill the
office, and he may continue to nominate until his nominee is
confirmed," according to Idaho Code.
question then becomes one of the city councilís willingness to go along
with Simonís vision for the cityís staff.
interviews last week, council members were not clear about how they plan
to handle the pending situation. Councilman Maurice Charlat said it is too
early for him to comment intelligently about Simonís proposal.
Councilwoman Chris Potters said only, "It seems like deja vous to
me," an apparent reference to Simonís rocky political past.
Simon was recalled from the Ketchum City Council only 10 months into his
term over a personnel dispute involving Ketchum Police Chief Cal Nevland.
council, including Simon, unanimously voted to fire Chief Nevland. Ketchum
citizens, in short, disagreed with the action and recalled three of the
four council members who voted for Nevlandís firing.
aside, Simon said the mayor, as chief executive of the city, must have a
city attorney heís comfortable with. Recent actions at Ketchum City Hall
prompted him to believe he would not be comfortable with Simms, he said.
of Ninth Street, the cityís redrafted election ordinance and a lack of
action on a conflicts of interest policy are among Simonís objections.
not blaming Margaret (Simms) for all of this, but at the same time I want
a city attorney whoís there to give a different perspective," he