THAYER -- For the past few weeks there has been a rumor going around the city of Thayer that Mayor Merle Williams at the June city council meeting, in closed session, stripped the four aldermen in the city of their powers over the city departments.
The rumor is not true because none of the aldermen were named as head of any department, Williams said.
When Williams took office in April of last year he made it clear that no alderman in the city would head departments. Instead he divided the aldermen into committees of two.
Aldermen Steve Alford and Joe Barbee are the committee over the airport, water/sewer and electrical departments. Aldermen Mike Harber and Al Clark are committee members over the street, cemetery, fire department and parks departments. The mayor himself oversees the police department.
Williams said that during a closed session at the June 10 council meeting, he did rather sternly remind the aldermen of their positions in the city. "They were never stripped of their departments because they were never over any departments. They were on committees and still are. If they (the aldermen) see something within one of the departments they are a committee member of, that they are concerned with, they need to come to me. I will then go to that city employee's supervisor in that department and we will work it out," the mayor said.
He said any problem with any employee, work schedules, discipline and other issues are the responsibility of the mayor. "This is the law of any fourth class city in Missouri and that is what Thayer is," he said.
Williams said any city resident that has a problem or an issue they are more than welcome to call the alderman that represents them and that alderman should bring the problem or issue to his attention. He also said that local residents are more than welcome to call him.