LOGAN, IOWA(KPTM)--In a special meeting Friday night the Logan City Council fired City Clerk/Administrator Angela Winther and City Attorney Joseph Lauterbach. The reason for the firings was withheld.
About 200 people showed up to the meeting, but the council didn't allow for any public comment. Logan has a population of a little over 1500 people.
"It makes me feel that the council is not listening to the people, the citizens," said Terry Francis, a former Logan City Council member.
The council voted 3-0 to fire the two employees. One council member abstained from voting saying that the meeting was "illegal". The council did not give a reason for the firings.
"I thought it was unusual that you wouldn't have a discussion before you take a vote, so it appeared that the three council people that were there had already made up their minds," said former lawyer Gary Allwegg.
Allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the council are seemingly widespread throughout the town and that has emotions running high.
"The town has been like a powder keg and [the firing] just lit off a fuse. I mean emotions are running high right now," said Jim Ettelman, another former council member.
Many of those emotions have been directed at city council leader Skip Johnson.
Skip's wife, Samantha Johnson, told KPTM that someone went up on her family's yard and ripped up several plants Saturday night.
One person left a Facebook post on a group page saying:
"Hey Skip Johnson, we are coming for you.....You have thrown the first stone and we won't stop until you and your two followers are out of office...."
That message has since been removed.
Despite some of the nastiness, some townspeople think this issue has actually been a uniting experience for the town.
"I feel like this has united the city. Unfortunately it's united them against the city council," said Ettelman. "The city is more focused and more driven in the direction of fighting this than we've been united on anything."
He added that he thinks most people's issues stem from the lack of transparency on the part of the city council.
Francis has been working on getting a petition signed calling for a special election to fill a vacant council seat. The council plans on voting for a new member Monday, but it is the last day of the 40-day period the council had to do so.
According to Iowa state law, if a petition with enough signatures for a special election is presented to the council, they must accept it.
"This is a way that the citizens can take control of what they see as maybe an out-of-control situation with the council," said Francis.
Both Winther and Lauterbach have 30 days to request a public meeting regarding their dismissals. The townspeople should have a chance to speak their minds then.
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