At Monday’s Fairmont City Council meeting Mayor Deb Foster shared that the forensic audit will continue with a conference call this Wednesday with nine staff members from the Minnesota State Auditors office, as well as representatives that the council has appointed. They are city clerk Patty Monsen, city finance director, Paul Hoye, Cyphers and Foster.The audit will span 17 years of bookkeeping.
“The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the scope of the forensic audit, as well as the what the potential cost of the audit will be. Once we have that information, we will bring it back to the council for them to take action.” Departments and individuals under scrutiny include the liquor store; Housing and Redevelopment Authority; Human Resources, which is pension, payroll audit of dismissed, retired, resigned employees; vacation time; release agreements; the airport; water park; tax increment; dredge fund and the new water treatment plant.
Council member Ruth Cyphers questioned whether anything can be shared regarding the report they’ve been given from the police chief and the county attorney regarding the criminal cases that expired under statue of limitations during the tenure of former city attorney Elizabeth Blomquist. Foster said that nothing can be shared at this time because the investigation is still active and they have been advised by Flaherty & Hood, the city’s interim legal counsel, to share nothing at this time.
The council went into closed session to continue a performance evaluation of City Administrator Mike Humpal. Humpal was put on a paid leave, effective immediately, at the Oct. 14 council meeting and Troy Nemmers, public works director/city engineer, was assigned the duties and responsibilities of city administrator on an interim basis.
After the session, Mayor Debbie Foster asked for a motion to continue the meeting and discussion at the next regular council meeting. With his added responsibilities during the transition time, Nemmers has requested a wage increase from $114,858 to $147,347 , which is what current city administrator Mike Humpal makes.Foster says, Nemmers has more job duties now and is on call 24/7 as he is now the city’s go-to person.
The council unanimously approved of the wage increase and made a motion that if Nemmers is in the same position at the start of the new year, his salary is going to be reconsidered until he is no longer assigned by the council to perform the duties and responsibilities of city administrator.