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  • City council tables agenda item after some members voice concern

By Myrna Trauntvein
Times-News Correspondent

One resolution, to authorize the city administrator to sign important documents in lieu of the mayor, was tabled after some discomfort with the proposal was expressed by council members.

“I understand the need,” said Kent Jones, council member. “I am uncomfortable with it. I would like a paper trail.”

He said that the mayor was the elected CEO of the city and, in 10 years time, the mayor may not be signing all that he should as the CEO.

“I am not sure why, but I am uncomfortable,” said Jones. “Maybe I just need more discussion.”

Nathan Memmott, council member, thought that the mayor pro tempore, should be the one to sign in the mayor’s absence.

“We would not blur the line between the elected officials and the city staff,” he said.

“It does require written authorization for the city administrator to sign,” said Kasey Wright, city attorney.

What would that written authorization require? asked Donald Ball, resident.

“The city administrator may sign any document that the mayor is authorized to sign upon the city administrator receiving written authorization from the mayor to sign the identified document,” said Wright.

There may be times when the mayor pro tempore would also be out of town when documents needed to be signed, said Skip Worwood, council member.

Justin Seely, council member, is a supervisor at Slate Canyon Youth Center, and is mayor pro tempore. He is also not in Nephi at times.

If the council was going to authorize the mayor pro tempore to sign in the mayor’s behalf, perhaps a reassignment of that office should be considered, said Memmott.

Seely said that he would make a motion to table the resolution until the council could have time to discuss the ins and outs of the proposal at a work meeting.

The need for a secondary signer of important documents came about due to the full-time occupation of Nephi Mayor Glade Nielson. Because of his work he is frequently out of the city for business.

Nielson is the founder of Lean Horizons, which fixes the culture and systems in companies in order to improve profitability and business processes.

“He has made great efforts to travel back to Nephi in order to sign documents from time to time,” said Atkinson. “Through discussion with the mayor, it was concluded that, on some occasions, it would be more convenient if the city administrator were delegated the authority to sign on behalf of the mayor (e.g. land transfers, bond closings, etc.).”

This authority would require written permission from the mayor through e-mail or text message.

In this way, the mayor is aware of when things are being signed but won’t always need to expend the extra time or effort to make it to Nephi for a signature.

Atkinson said that Wright had prepared a resolution that would accomplish this purpose for council consideration.

This document would have assisted with informing organizations to allow a signature other than the mayor when committing the city to some action.

However, council members were unwilling to sign the resolution until they had discussed the topic in a work meeting and, therefore, tabled the resolution until they could have further input.

“The Nephi City Code provides that the city council may prescribe certain duties, powers, and responsibilities to appointed officials,” said Wright.

“This is not something that happens daily,” said Nielson. “As much advance notice is being given as is possible.”

He asked Wright if there was any precedent for the question.

The item will be placed on the next work meeting agenda and further learning and discussion will be considered before a final decision is made.

After the work meeting, the resolution will be returned to a regular meeting agenda for a vote.