Reed City Council divided yet again REED CITY \u2014 A recommendation by Reed City City Manager Ron Marek to hire a new Department of Public Works superintendent was shot down by the Reed City Council at the meeting on Aug. 21. Marek, who has served as the interim DPW Superintendent since Kevin Rambadt retired from the position in February, was instructed by the council after Rambadt\u2019s retirement to post the position, conduct interviews and recommend a candidate for hire. The DPW superintendent\u2019s job duties include supervising the recreation committee, organizing Music and Art in the Park summer programs as well as overseeing jobs with the wastewater treatment team, some duties of which require a special license. Applications for the position were received from 22 people, both current city employees and external candidates. Eight candidates were interviewed and Marek selected Bruce Aittama, of Marion, to recommend for hire based on his experience and qualifications. At the beginning of the Aug. 21 meeting, several citizens commented that the next DPW superintendent should be selected from within current city employees and not from outside the city. The council\u2019s later decision reflected the public comments. A motion made by Councilmen Dave Scharlow not to confirm the appointment, was approved by a vote of 5-2, with council members Darlene Fuller, James Anderlohr, David Bisbee, Phil Rathbun and Scharlow voting for the motion and Mayor Bonnie Danseizen and Marlene Fatum voting against. \u201cI\u2019ve talked to a couple of people who know (Aittama) and I felt that the recommendation was in the best interest in the city,\u201d Danseizen said. \u201cThis man had 25 years of experience with a smaller city.\u201d Bisbee said he felt the candidate did not have sufficient knowledge of Reed City to successfully hold the position. \u201cHis knowledge of the community was an important concern. We need somebody who knows where pipes are and that sort of thing,\u201d Bisbee said. \u201c(Lack of community knowledge) would be true of anyone who is not a resident.\u201d Another issue in hiring a new DPW superintendent, Bisbee said, was the city not having the money to pay for the supervisor\u2019s position in this year\u2019s budget. \u201cThere\u2019s also a budget issue now, we\u2019re very limited. Our own budget situation is extremely tight,\u201d Bisbee said, noting that filling the position may be better considered for next year\u2019s budget. According to section 4.7 of the Reed City Charter, council members are not allowed to interfere with or influence the city manager\u2019s decision on who to hire for city employee positions. After certain council members appeared to be attempting to influence Marek\u2019s decision, City Attorney Dave Porteous cited the charter at the meeting. \u201cMr. Porteous assured us all (at the council meeting) that the way the DPW Superintendent was to be approved was that the city manager makes a recommendation and the council approves or disapproves,\u201d Danseizen said, adding that Marek did exactly what the council asked him to do in interviewing candidates. After the council did not approve the appointment, Marek said he plans to revisit the item with the council again at a later date in hopes of filling the position. \u201cI firmly believe we need a full-time superintendent here in the city,\u201d Marek said. \u201cWhen I am (acting as) interim superintendent, I can\u2019t do what I need to be doing for the city manager\u2019s job.\u201d In other business at the Aug. 21 meeting, the council; Reviewed and approved fire contracts for Richmond, Chase and Penora townships; Approved wages for the deputy clerk's position, which will be filled by Labor Day.