Knoxville council appoints new city clerk

Photo by Megan Showers/The Journal-ExpressMayor Brian Hatch giving the Oath of Office to new City Clerk Jodi Bellon.

KNOXVILLE — Jodi Bellon was sworn in as the new city clerk of Knoxville at a meeting on June 29, replacing former clerk Heather Ussery, who was in attendance to answer a few questions.

The Knoxville City Council approved Bellon’s appointment in a 6-1 vote. Council Member Rick Kingery was the only vote against the appointment. Bellon then took the oath of office.

Discussion then turned toward the Knoxville Public Library Expansion and Renovation project, with a resolution regarding the library being unanimously approved after little debate.

Knoxville Mayor Brian Hatch informed the council members that the resolution under discussion was a letter giving its full and official support for the Knoxville Public Library Expansion Renovation Project.

“This is another support letter basically showing that the city is behind the library project as they reach out for one last grant opportunity,” Hatch said. “This is for them to try to finish off the fundraising for the expansion project. And they are getting dangerously close.”

Library Director Roslin Thompson announced that they were even closer to their goal due to the Board of Supervisors recent support for a Vision Iowa grant request.

“Since we had the public launch on June 2, we have been able to secure funding from the Board of Supervisors and that was passed Tuesday, so we are happy about that,” Thompson said.

Hatch made sure Thompson knew her efforts and the efforts of others were appreciated.

“That’s great. We appreciate your work on it. You guys are doing an excellent job,” Hatch said.

The council then turned to resolution number 06-25-17, the auditor for the city in her last report indicated that the City should adopt a policy that allows the city clerk to pay certain routine bills, prior to council approval, in order to eliminate a penalty or late fee.

Heather Ussery, the city’s previous clerk, said the request is to prevent late charges from being incurred.

“This was a policy requested actually by our state auditors. It’s to authorize the city clerk to prepay certain bills listed on the resolution,” Ussery said. “They are mainly credit cards and its to avoid late charges. Its just authorizing the clerk that approval to pay prior to council meetings.”

Kingery said he was interested in placing a cap on the amount.

“Is there a way to put a cap on that?,” Kingery asked.

Ussery informed Kingery and the rest of the council that she would recommend not restricting the amount of spending.

“If the bill is higher than that we will still get a finance charge because we couldn’t pay it. There are already credit limits on the cards themselves,” Ussery said.

With a 6-1 vote, the resolution was passed allowing the City Clerk to prepay certain bills. Kingery was the only council member to vote against the resolution.

— Megan Showers is a staff writer for the Oskaloosa Herald, a sister-newspaper to the Journal-Express. She can be reached in the newsroom via email:

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