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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

For the week of November 20 - 26, 2002


Lindley wants job 
back, but Hailey 
still has no mayor

Council hands down second 
‘no confidence’ vote

Express Staff Writer

Hailey City Council members Monday deferred the appointment of a new Hailey mayor after former Mayor Al Lindley rescinded his Nov. 8 letter of resignation.

Addressing a large crowd of concerned citizens, Council President Susan McBryant—the acting mayor of the city—said the panel could not appoint a new mayor until city officials determined whether the city must reinstate Lindley to his former office.

"The receipt of a letter to rescind resignation has left us uncertain as to what the proper procedures are," McBryant told the public.

The news came during a brief but dramatic set of actions by council members Monday that revealed not only that Lindley intended to regain his position, but also that the former mayor allegedly signed two city contracts without proper approval from council members.

Expressing a clear desire to make their sentiments about Lindley public, council members at the meeting issued an unofficial vote of no confidence in the former mayor, their second in two weeks.

McBryant opened the meeting by reading a statement from the council that summarized the course of events surrounding the first informal, non-binding vote of no confidence issued by the council to Lindley on Nov. 8. "When council member Davis informed the mayor of the council’s intent to hold a special meeting to discuss the mayor’s ability to manage the city, the mayor told council member Davis that he would resign," the statement noted.

McBryant then read two letters submitted by Lindley in which the former mayor explicitly withdrew his Nov. 8 resignation.

In both letters Lindley stated that he believed the council had mishandled procedures governing two sexual grievance charges filed against him by city employees—charges that he cited last week as a primary factor in his resignation.

"I feel I can work with the employees on a professional basis," Lindley stated in one letter. "I also feel I can work with the City Council. We have an obligation to the citizens of Hailey."

Councilman Don Keirn then challenged Lindley to honor a statement the former mayor made in his Nov. 8 letter of resignation which said he would not serve as mayor "if anyone had a problem working with me."

Keirn then asked council members to take part in a formal—yet still non-binding—vote on whether they had confidence in Lindley’s ability to be mayor. All members of the council quickly expressed votes of no confidence.

McBryant then scheduled a special meeting to appoint a mayor on Monday, Nov 25.

The acting mayor then called for action on two contracts Lindley allegedly signed on behalf of the city in October without proper authorization from the council.

First, council members voted unanimously to adopt an amendment to a preexisting May contract between Sun Valley Co. and Horizon Airlines. The amendment—which council members state never came to them for authorization—essentially stipulated that the City of Hailey would use funds from a $600,000 federal Department of Transportation grant to reimburse Sun Valley Co. for subsidies the company would give to Horizon Airlines to guarantee Horizon air flights this winter to Hailey from Los Angeles.

(The amendment required council authorization to be considered legally binding, City Attorney Ned Williamson noted after the meeting.)

Council members then voted unanimously to void an Oct. 15 contract between the city and Williamson for the attorney to provide legal services through next September for $125 per hour.

McBryant immediately after the meeting confirmed the city’s position that the documents were signed without the required authorization of the council. She said the documents in question were only one element of a list of 13 separate ways in which she believes Lindley acted "outside the scope" of his job.

"I have pages of it. That’s just two items," she said.

McBryant declined to make public the other issues she had identified in regards to Lindley’s service.

Lindley—who did not attend the Monday meeting—said Tuesday that he believed members of the council were engaging in "small town gamesmanship" in an effort to keep him out of office.

He said he did not sign any contracts that were not "handed" to him by a ranking city employee, and alleged that he signed the contract between the city and Williamson in front of Williamson himself.

"I was never advised by Ned Williamson I couldn’t do that," he said.

Williamson said Tuesday that he did not recall exactly when he signed the agreement, but thought all along the document would be sent to the council for approval—either as part of the council’s consent agenda or as a business item.

He said he would continue to work for the city in the future, despite not having a binding contract.



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