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The City of Palmer hires one of its own or “Rules are Made to be Broken”

The City of Palmer advertised for a new Community Development Director in late March, 2018.

City of Palmer AML ad

Here is the full listing:

City of Palmer CDD-Job-Posting

Just two weeks after the closing date of April 13th, a curious action item appeared on the Palmer City Council’s May 1st meeting agenda:

This Action Memorandum was submitted by Mayor De Vries but it was not signed off on by anyone else – not the Attorney or the Manager or Clerk, etc.

According to the meeting minutes, the Council voted unanimously in favor of this exception with no discussion.

Question:  This item was introduced and voted on at one meeting…with little to no discussion.  Did the Council Members know about this issue/topic prior to the Palmer City Council meeting? If so, when was it discussed by the members? What about the Open Meetings Act requirements?

City of Palmer Exception

Thus, longtime Palmer City Council member Brad Hanson was hired to be Palmer’s Community Development Director at a salary of $83,000 plus benefits.

And now Palmer is accepting applications to fill Mr. Hanson’s seat until the regular election in October. (Mr. Hanson was only re-elected in the fall of 2017.)

Palmer city council vacancy

When I posted about this on Facebook, a man commented that: “If Mr. Hanson is quantifiably more qualified that the other eight candidates. Then this is proper and a non issue.”

My response: Maybe so, but I wonder if he had an “inside edge” since he was on the Council for almost 20 years and worked with and knew the people doing the hiring. I wonder why the City of Palmer (and government entities across the USA ) even bother to have this prohibition in the first place if it does not matter at all. 

Someone ought to do a Public Records request to find out more about the hiring process for this job and who the other 8 candidates were.

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