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Resolution clarifies city manager transition

Ashland City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday to resolve ambiguities left over from a charter change voters approved in May, transferring certain administrative powers from the mayor to a city manager.

City Attorney David Lohman brought the proposed changes before the council to ensure any uncertainties are resolved before the charter takes effect Jan. 1, he said.

“What this does is make sure we don’t have a gap,” Lohman said.

The first addition clarifies that whoever occupies the role of interim city administrator Dec. 31 shall become the interim city manager in the new year. The second specifies that the interim city manager has the authority to amend department head employment contracts such that they report directly to the city manager.

The initial charter amendment declares the city manager may not have a familial relationship with any other city employee. Lohman said under one interpretation of the language, Adam Hanks’ assumption of the city manager role would end Accounting and Audit Manager Cindy Hanks’ employment with the city.

The third component of the resolution passed Tuesday allows the City Council to approve exceptions on a case-by-case basis. The new council may repeal and replace the resolution in January if it chooses.

Contact Ashland Tidings reporter Allayana Darrow at adarrow@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497 and follow her on Twitter @AllayanaD.