No quorum for council special vote to remove Johnstown City Manager
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WJAC) —
Some are calling it following the law, others calling it another city council charade.
Two Johnstown council members held a special meeting Monday to highlight what they say is a fireable offense from the City Manager George Hayfield. But none of the other five members of council showed up for the meeting, and without a majority of council present there was no quorum for councilors Charlene Stanton and Jack Williams to present the measure for a vote.
They said Hayfield did not receive proper approval from city council for a vacation he took late last month. They contend Hayfield did not follow the city's charter which states that, “any time the City Manager is unable to perform the duties of that office, whether because of absence or disability, he or she may delegate such authority to another city employee, subject to prior approval by council."
Stanton and Williams said it was never approved, and that he missed a meeting on December 27 about the city budget which has yet to be approved for this year.
“These allegations are baseless,” Hayfield said. “This is just about intimidation, as I view it.”
Mayor Frank Janakovic believes Hayfield let the proper people know that he was leaving and that anything that was improper was a technicality that should be dealt with as a private personnel matter, without a special hearing to remove him.
That the other five did not show was not unexpected. Stanton and Williams usually align together on council while Mayor Janakovic and the other four members of council, Deputy Mayor Marie Mock, Dave Vitovich, Ricky Britt and Rev. Sylvia King, are generally their own voting bloc.
This usually creates a back and forth the devolves into arguments and allegations at the monthly council meetings. Stanton and Williams have been known to be tough on their other council members and city staff when it comes to accountability and following the rules.
Williams said he tried that, but other members told him they did not get notice of the private executive session in time.
“It's unfortunate we have a group of council members and now a city manager who think they are above the law,” Williams said. “They are not.”
“I find it disappointing,” Hayfield said. “I still believe Johnstown is a good community at heart and I look forward to serving here for years to come.”
Williams said he will re-submit his measure for the next regularly scheduled meeting on January 16.