few days after expressing frustration over what he sees as a lack of support from aldermen in controlling labor costs, Dearborn Mayor Marvin Landes turned in his resignation.
The mayor had been on a medical leave of absence from his position for a couple of weeks.
Landes’ resignation became effective Friday, Aug. 1.
In an open letter to the mayor pro-tem, all board members and the general public, Landes wrote:
“Due primarily to health reasons, and the apparent lack of support from the council in trying to curb spending, I resign my position as mayor of the city of Dearborn effective Aug. 1, 2003.”
Recently, Landes had sent a memo to three city employees outlining steps he wanted taken to reduce employee costs now that the city has completed connection to Kansas City water and no longer operates its own water plant. The memo spelled out a reduction in work hours, stated that overtime needed to have proper authorization, told the employees to use city vehicles instead of personal vehicles to avoid the need for mileage reimbursement.
The three employees—Billy Clay Davidson, K.C. Davidson and Frank Dovel—walked off the job for a few days after getting the memo. They came back to work after meeting with the board of aldermen.
Landes was extremely disappointed that aldermen made a decision not to back his memo.
“There’s no trust now,” he told The Landmark last week prior to announcing his resignation.
Donald Swanstone, Jr., president of the board of aldermen, will assume duties as mayor now that Landes has resigned.
Landes was elected mayor in April of 2002. The mayor’s position will be on the ballot in April 2004.
Landes had been wanting to cut city expenses in an effort to help pay the debt the city has incurred for the water connection to Kansas City, and to help meet other financial obligations that are taking a toll on city funds.
He had proposed the idea of contracting with a firm that would take care of the city’s water system needs. The company would read meters, perform meter repairs, do shut-offs for non-pay accounts, turn on new installations, perform water testing for state compliance, monitor the city’s wastewater and pull all samples, and would apply chemicals as needed.
The company would provide those services at a cost of $9 per meter per month. The city has 250 water meters, so the estimated annual cost per the contract would be $27,000.
Landes said the contract would allow the city to significantly reduce its employee work hours and save thousands of dollars for the city per year, perhaps as much as $27,000 per year, even after the cost of the contract is figured.
Landes said he leaves with no hard feelings.
“I have no animosity in any way. It’s over. I appreciate all the calls and letters I’ve received since my resignation,” he said Tuesday.
Dearborn is “coming into a new era,” he said.
“We’re actually running water without pumping it.”