Eldora Special Council Meeting July 22 2021
(The video is of the full meeting.)
The special council meeting was set up to discuss a very heated issue. The appointment and consenting Anthony Schrad as Chief of Police.
It became a confecting issue because of conflicts between the Eldora city Code and Iowa State Code. Eldora code states that the Mayor can appoint the Chief of Police. Whereas the Iowa code states that the Mayor appoints the chief of police with the consciences of the town council.
Back in 2020 the previous Chief of Police took medical leave. At that time Captain Anthony Schrad was appointed as acting Chief by the mayor. In February the Former Chief of Police left permanently and the Mayor appointed Anthony Schrad as official chief of police.
A Council Member brought attention to the discrepancy of the City Code and Iowa Code. At that time the council received information that was discrediting Anthony Schrad for the position. That information is not open to the public and it is unknown what it is. The vote did not past. It was 3 no's and 2 yes.
The Residents of Eldora were shocked. Anthony Schrad had been acting chief of police for nearly a year. Many people who came to the meeting commented on their experience with Anthony Schrad and how professional he was and how much he cared for his community.
So the council held this special meeting to meet with members of the community to hear what they had to say. Many speaking their voice or coming to show their support for Anthony Schrad. The Police department showed up as well in support for Anthony Schrad.
After much disscution and debating it came to a vote. 3 yes and 2 no's. The motion was past. The residents of Eldora voices were heard and Anthony Schrad is now the Chief of Police.
Here are the notes for the full meeting with timecodes. (00:00:00) showing when discussion of topics happened. To read the timecode it is Hours:Minutes:Seconds. These times are a rough estimate.
Italicized text -Council members vote count.
Bold text - Main points within the video from the Original Agenda Sheet and timecodes.
Regular Text - Sub-categories or points of interest within the main points. THESE ARE
NOTES THAT I MADE DURING THE MEETS. THEY ARE PARAPHRASED. There are moments where a lot of people were speaking at the same time. I did not record nor write everything that was spoken. I apologize for any misspellings of any names.
ELDORA CITY COUNCIL
AGENDA Special Meeting
July 22, 2021 5:30 P.M. Eldora Fire & Rescue Dept 2206 Washington Street
00:00:00 I. Meeting Called to Order by David Dunn, Mayor
00:00:05 II. Pledge of Allegiance
0: 20III. Roll Call
0:30 IV. Consent Agenda
Consider approval of Minutes - June 7, 8 & 29 July 13 • Consider approval of Monthly Claims (June) and Financial (May & June)
Citizen Comment Period
This citizen comment period allows community members to share their views regarding tonight's agenda items. Please keep your comments civilized. Your remarks should be directed toward the positions taken by Council Members or the Mayor rather than at the individuals who are voicing those positions. Please limit your remarks to two (2) minutes and please avoid repeating comments previously made. Thank You
00:04:00 Renee: 5:34: They are submitting a petition for the appointment of Anthony Schrad as police chief. Businesses that are in Eldora have also signed. Raena removed signatures from people who don't live in Eldora but work here. Some people also were fearful of signing.
00:05:35 Karry: They are wondering how we got into this mess. The chief wasn't allowed to speak nor have his side documented in these matters. How did concerns with Anthony Schrad didn't come up before appointment, nor during the time period in which they happened, then how and why did they come up now? If he didn't get the position does Anthony Schrad go back to captain? His old spot as Captain is now filled. Does he go back to Captain? Will there be two captains now? The current police force respects and trusts Anthony Schrad. Continued delay on appointment then opens the city to lawsuits and distrust.
00:09:00 Troy: Karry said what he wanted to say.
Patt Makana: Agrees with Karry.
Richard: also gave his two minutes to Karry also.
Judy also gives their two minutes to Karry.
00:10:00 Andy: He is a peace officer with the state of Iowa. He wants to make it clear he is here as a resident of Eldora not representing his workplace. He believes that the chief is intelligent, and a good guy. Take into consideration the people here to support Anthony. He has the ability to lead.
00:12:00 Andy also sent an email to the Mayor. Mayor read part of it outload.
00:14:00 Sam: About a week and half ago. He hadn't heard from a friend in a while. He kept calling Anthony Schrad. He was very professional and caring. He went in and found out that his friend was on the kitchen floor and had been there for a few days. Anthony Schrad was very warm, comforting and professional. Sam told his friend, who was also there he would ever need to speak up for Anthony then he would.
SOMEONE (I am not sure who is speaking. I'm sorry): Speaking for someone that is on Zoom: “I offer and support Chief Schrad.”
00:17:00 Resident: Anthony wants to be here. He’s professional and it speaks volumes. Not saying there isn't fault with him but no one is perfect and finding someone who is good and wants to be in small town Iowa is rare.
Jarid(?): Wants to thank the police dept. They are helpful and give each and everyone of them a thank you.
On Zoom: Dian: Why is there someone on the Town Council that doesn't want to appoint Anthony Schrad?
Cindy (Council Member): My decision was based on Facts. Valid Facts. The facts don't have to be shared or be disclosed. Some council members have met with the Mayor and Anthony Schrad. The information they had during the meeting, where they the facts? (asking the mayor)
Mayor: I don't remember everything said. I can't say everything was facts.
Cindy: It was NOT personal. Those rumors have been going around and they are not true.
Karry: There are personal things that can't be disclosed and we know that and respect that but why were they not addressed a year and half ago or when they happened? Why wasn't it documented? Why are there no marks?
VI. Old Business
Discussion and possible action on Resolution 07-21-2971, relating to Police Chief vacancy
00:20:00 Mayor has received a lot of comments of the conflicting code devotions. The City code says the mayor appoints the chief of police. BUT ALSO the state code says, the mayor appoints the chief of police with vote of the council. They must consent. The mayor with the Town Council runs the city and gives directions and supervises the departments of the city.
00:28:00 Mayor Explaining how we got here: The previous chief had medical issues. He took medical leave but left February. When the former chief took his medical leave in the summer of 2020 Mayor appointed Anthony Schrad as acting chief, who was captain at the time. He has been serving in that role since. He is still the acting chief. When the former chief left. The mayor undertook the process of hiring a new chief. Advertise the potion widely. Got a few out of state applicants. Got a dozen or more applications. He compared them and got them down to 4 people that he intended to interview. Aaron suggested assembling a group of people for interviews. It was taken down to 3. One dropped out. The conclusion of the interview he asked the others what their decision was. Everyone agreed Anthony Schrad was the best applicant. Then the Mayor then appointed him.
Mayor at the time did not know of the Iowa code about the Town Council approval at that time. A council member makes them aware of it. Then they put it on the agenda in May for approval. The motion failed. 3-no, 2-yes vote. There were facts brought out about Anthony Schrad's performance as acting chief. Comments came out. The Town Council used those complaints as evidence for their votes.
The law is there to make sure the Mayor appoints an experienced person and not just anyone. Someone who has the ability to do the job.
00:39:00 Mayor asks Erica, does the Code have anything about town council using an appointee’s shortcoming of their performance to not accept them?
Erica says, there is nothing in the Eldora code or Iowa code that allows the council to withhold consent with the appointment with the chief of police as you describe.
Mayor asks for motion for Resolution appointing and Consenting Anthony Schrad named as Chief of police - Motion moved, and seconded.
Mel (Council Member) I have some discussion. What supersedes ? Iowa code or City code?
Erica: When under Iowa home rule, a country that has those powers to fill there municipal duties as long as those codes are in concordance with the Iowa code. If they don't then we attempt to review the county code and seek to harmonize the Iowa law. You look at the chapter and not just the little part of it. You apply the spirit of the law. At this point an appointment by the mayor without the city council is not effective. The appointment must have the Town Council's approval
Mel: I appreciate the public attendance. I had lot of comments. I want to clarify. - My vote for punishment is inaccurate. With a thorough valuation, and talk about processes throughout the city. I took great pains and though valuations and that formed my vote. I wouldn't make that kind of decision, knowing an unpopular decision. This is not punishment. The intent of this meeting was not a revote at this time. The intent of the special meeting was because its a demarcated process. There was an appointment made and it was not confirmed. There was no direction of the inconscient codes. Maybe discuss about re-opening the potion.
RESIDENT - I live here in Eldora, and run a business- why can't the people vote? LET THE CITY VOTE. LET THE PEOPLE VOTE.
Mel: Without having any direction, it became apparent there was an impasse.
MAYOR: There is no impasse. It was based on accusations.
RESIDENT: What are the Facts?
MAYOR: We just evaluated its not your (town Council) job to evaluate. Your job is to see if the appointment is qualified. He his qualified and he familiar with the city,
Mel- Email from city attorney - we attempted to come up with some plan. We had this on the last agenda but it was denied by the mayor. The town council called a special meeting. What are we going to do? Can we reopen the position? It would be immature to vote to soon. Not allowed to state some facts.
Kerry (resident) There are multiple sets of information. What is the procedure to get that information out for people to see and view.
Mayor: Anthony has years of experience. He has a masters and bachelors degree. He is a resident of Eldora. The Council can look for someone for me to appoint but he will be acting chief till then. Two of the appointed town council who voted no are up for election next November.
Greg (Council Member) - I got involved, I look at the facts, you want me to represent you. I am so proud of everyone who comes out and gets their voices out. But from presetive I did my best for the progress of Eldora.
RESIDENT: Why do we have a mayor if he can't make a decision and has to go through the Town Council.
Blake (Council Member) - He hears complaints about fireworks but if we (the other council members) don't listen to people today then we are hypocrites.
01:01:45 vote 3-yes 2-no. Motion carries.
01:02:35 Consider approval of Resolution 07-21-2969, Resolution approving the hiring Carson Lutterman as a full-time police department employee and setting wages for
01:02:40 motion and second - 5 yes.