IDA GROVE, Iowa | The mayor of Ida Grove has resigned, citing the city council's decision to terminate the long-time city clerk.
Mayor Morris Hurd announced his resignation Wednesday, a day after the council declined to retain Edie Ball as clerk for another year, Councilman Doug Clough said Friday. The move came during the council's annual organizational session.
While he couldn't speak to Hurd's reasons for resigning, Clough said he knows Hurd had a good working relationship with Ball, who had served as city clerk for nearly nine years.
Hurd could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.
Hurd was elected in November 2013 and was in the final year of a four-year term that runs through Dec. 31, 2017. Paul Cates, the city's mayor pro tem, was elevated to interim mayor. Clough said Cates would prefer to return to his council duties as soon as possible.
Iowa cities have the option of filling a mayoral vacancy by a council appointment or a special election.
Clough said the council would prefer to appoint a mayor to serve the rest of this year to avoid the cost of a special election.
Ida Grove residents could petition for a special election if the council opts for an appointment.
The Ida County seat of 2,142 has just gone through a multi-year period where a lot of infrastructure pieces, such as bridges, have been added and the downtown King Theatre has been remodeled. Clough said Ball had performed well as those projects came to fruition.
With that work finished, the council wanted to head forward with a new city clerk well versed in promoting Ida Grove, Clough said. A marketing push is a goal of council members, he said.
"We want people to come to Ida Grove and stay," Clough said.
Clough said the three-member city office is now down to only one worker. Another city employee left in late 2016 to become city clerk 50 miles away in Lawton, Iowa.
"We've got some backups coming in," Clough said.
The goal, he said, is to hire a city clerk within two months, in order to keep the city functioning well for citizens. The position will be advertised.
In addition to Clough and Cates, council members are Scott Tomlinson, Jeff Buehler and Ryan Goodman.