July 6, 2016

Auditor reappointed


Washburn’s city auditor has been approved for another four-year term, but not before citizens voiced some misgivings about the commissioners fighting the reappointment.

Larry Thomas, who was recently elected to a four-year commission president term, stated at the June 13 commission meeting that he would be moving to not reappoint Joan Zimmerman after being disappointed with her job performance. During last week’s reorganizational meeting, residents gathered in city hall to dispute statements Thomas had made.

Resident Mark Lelm, who serves on the special assessments committee, said he disagreed with statements about Zimmerman being unprofessional or not performing her duties as expected.

"I think the job of an auditor is very stressful. You’re dealing with different issues week to week," Lelm said to the commission. "I think Joan is doing an excellent job. I think it’d be a big mistake to try and replace her."

Lelm, who served on the city commission until 2012, said Thomas, current commission president, stated in 2010 that he would leave his public works position if deputy auditor Joan Zimmerman was made a full-time employee.

"We made a motion and asked to hire Joan," Lelm said of a special commission meeting on May 27, 2010. "Larry stepped out of the meeting and said, ‘I quit.’"

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