CLINTON — The search for a new Clinton city administrator has hit a delay.

The Clinton City Council approved a resolution Tuesday to hire the city’s human resource consultant, Paul Greufe and Associates, to lead the search for an interim city administrator and a full-time administrator.

The vote was 4-2, with members Paul Gassman and Maggie Klaess voting no and Bev Herman absent.

Jeffrey Horne resigned as city administrator a couple of weeks ago at the council’s request after he had been on personal leave for several weeks.

But Mayor Mark Vulich said he would not sign the hiring resolution immediately and may not sign it at all. It would go into effect in 14 days without his signature.

After the meeting, the mayor said he would either veto the resolution or let it go into effect without his signature. Vulich said he had some unanswered questions about Greufe’s qualification for this type of search and was not convinced “we were taking the best course of action at this time.”

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The council had hoped to have Greufe hired in time to attend next week’s council meeting to discuss the search process.

Council member John Rowland led the charge to hire Greufe and promoted his experience and education to help the city. But Vulich said a letter to the council and mayor from Rowland supporting Greufe was inappropriate and read as if Rowland was improperly acting as the liaison with Greufe. He also believed Greufe inappropriately solicited the business from individual council members. The mayor also was concerned about emails sent around about the issue that possibly could be a violation of the open meetings law.

Vulich said he has other options for ideas how to proceed and would detail some of those ideas if he decides to veto the action.

In a related note, the Clinton Chamber of Commerce and the Clinton Regional Development Corp. sent a joint letter encouraging the city to undertake a thoughtful process in hiring a city administrator and asked to be involved in the process.

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