B’town council’s plan for chief appointments hits snag

City attorney’s advice results in far more questions than answers

The Beardstown City Council went into Tuesday night’s meeting with a consensus in mind.  Let the Board of Police and Fire Commissioners handle the hiring of police and fire chiefs.  Those plans, however, were quickly laid aside when Beardstown City Attorney Jeff Soltermann said such a move would only serve to complicate issues.  
The council was considering the action as a means of providing stability to the police chief’s position, but the council members learned there was nothing they could legally do to extend — either by ordinance or contract — the chief’s tenure beyond the term of the mayor.  Soltermann told the council that was a law established by the state legislature and it could not be overridden by the council.

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