POWERS — For now, with three councilors having been recalled, the Powers city recorder remains the sole person qualified to sign employees' paychecks.

After residents, by an overwhelming majority, recalled three councilors, some had a question of basically paying workers and handling other city operations.

On Sept. 29 in a special county election, residents voted out of office Councilors Joseph George and brothers Jack McDaniel and Mearl McDaniel Jr. 

"I signed the paychecks the other day because I don't want the city crews to be tangled up in what's going on," McDaniel Jr. said. 

McDaniel Jr., City Recorder Stephanie Patterson and Councilor Shirley Burgess are authorized to sign checks. However, Burgess announced earlier that she had to temporarily take a leave from the council. She's scheduled to resume her service to the city in early November and Patterson said she doesn't plan to resign.

The city recorder said, "The city's policy generally requires two signatures on all checks, except in an emergency, and that a list of all bills paid each month must be initialed or signed by at least four members of the City Council."

"Our bank, Umpqua Bank's Myrtle Point branch, only requires one signature on all checks as the second signature is an internal control at the city," Patterson added. She said for now she is the only person who is authorized to sign checks at the bank because of Burgess' absence and McDaniel Jr. being voted out of office.

In all, the city has 13 employees — six full-time workers, four part-time employees, two temporary service contract providers and a volunteer stipend employee, Patterson said.  

As it stands at least for this month, besides Mayor Bill Holland, Charlie Possee and Ben Bedwell are the remaining city leaders. 

"We expect to receive the certified results from the Coos County elections office on Oct. 14," Patterson wrote in a press release. Possee, Burgess, Bedwell and Holland will be required to appoint citizens to the three vacancies to complete the McDaniel brothers' and George's terms. 

In turn, because of the lack of a quorum, that means no one can be appointed just yet.

"At this time, the remaining council members and staff expect that business will continue as usual without any service interruptions," Patterson emphasized. However, she pointed out that "the regular meetings scheduled for Oct. 6 and Oct. 20 have been canceled due to lack of a quorum. At such time Burgess returns, the council will then have a quorum and may hold a meeting to appoint new members or conduct other business."

The city recorder added that once she has received the official number of votes, the three council vacancies will be advertised. 

"Citizens interested in serving on the City Council may complete an application for the position to be considered at the next public meeting," Patterson said. To service on the civic group, residents must be registered Powers voters and be a resident for at least one year before being appointed. 

For more information on council duties and requirements, contact Patterson by calling 541-439-3331 or via email at cityofpowers@msn.com.

Coquille Valley Courant Editor Shelby Case can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 296 or shelby.case@theworldlink.com.


Umpqua Post Editor