TOWER— The city council here has approved giving a letter of reprimand to Tower City Clerk-Treasurer Linda Keith and requiring her to pay any fines stemming from the mishandling of the Aug. 14 …
TOWER— The city council here has approved giving a letter of reprimand to Tower City Clerk-Treasurer Linda Keith and requiring her to pay any fines stemming from the mishandling of the Aug. 14 primary election in Tower.
The council’s action came in the wake of a closed session at the city council meeting last Wednesday, Sept. 26, during which the council was set to discuss possible disciplinary action over the incident. Before going into closed session, the council had finally discussed an Aug. 24 letter from Phil Chapman, the chief elections supervisor for St. Louis County, which outlined several significant errors in the city’s election process during the primary election. The council went through each of the seven errors cited by Chapman (which were previously reported in the Timberjay) and heard explanations from City Clerk-Treasurer Linda Keith, who administers the city’s election, about each of them. Keith’s explanations didn’t necessarily sit well with some of the council members.
“The one issue I’ve got just going over them, is that I’m not sure I’ve ever heard Linda say ‘we screwed up,’” said Councilor Lance Dougherty. “It was always, well, they sent in a plastic bag or ‘we’ve always done it this way in the past.’ Honestly, I think that after seven dings from the county, there was obviously some major screw-ups that happened that day. I hope that you and [deputy clerk] Terri have gotten them figured out here before the general election.”
Keith and the deputy clerk, Terri Joki-Martin, both spent a day in Duluth last week undergoing election re-training that the county had ordered following the problems with the primary election. In addition, Mayor Josh Carlson said that the city had requested that the county review the city’s election process in November. The city will be submitting a formal letter requesting the special review.