Every board meeting the city fathers spend bickering over the city clerk is another missed opportunity to right the city’s financial ship and avoid an almost inevitable fiscal disaster for the city of Indianola.
Three board members, Marvin Elder, Sam Brock and Ruben Woods voted in favor of hiring a fulltime assistant for city clerk Lashanda Moore late last month.
That decision was vetoed last Monday night by Mayor Steve Rosenthal, after an attempted override of the nixing failed to get the necessary 4-1 vote.
Accusations of racism led to two aldermen, Darrell Simpson and Gary Fratesi, and Rosenthal walking out of the meeting after only four completed agenda items out of about a dozen.
The abrupt ending to the meeting is just a sign of things to come if this feud continues.
The most important element to the entire mess is the fact that the city just barely missed a catastrophe ahead of the start of the fiscal year in October.
Indianola very nearly did not have a FY2020 budget to advertise during the month of September.
Neither the city board nor the public have been consistently provided with monthly financial statements since before Moore took over the post last fall.
Financial statements are not that difficult to generate. This is a basic but crucial duty of the city clerk.
Before storming out of last Monday’s meeting, Rosenthal did get approval from the board to advertise for a part-time assistant for Moore.
This attempt to compromise was met with the beforementioned accusations of racism by Elder toward Simpson, Fratesi and Rosenthal.
As for Moore, she has survived thus far with an awful lot of plausible deniability regarding her knowledge, or lack thereof, of her exact duties.
With the hopes of getting a fulltime assistant all but dashed by way of veto, Moore had better shift her focus to accomplishing her duties.
Those under her supervision need to be just as dedicated to getting the city’s business in order, and those who supervise Moore and her department need to give each one their full support.
The crumbling streets, job losses and decreasing population are a reflection of the dysfunction that has swept through our city government and City Hall in recent years.
The taxpayers deserve better.