Accusations fly at What Cheer City Council meeting

A packed house awaited the What Cheer City Council at their July 10 meeting.

What Cheer, Iowa- Serious allegations of misconduct among members of the What Cheer City Council were raised at their regular meeting on July 10. At issue was the actions of the Council at their June meeting. City Clerk Melanie Vermillion was not at June’s meeting, due to a previously approved absence. City Council minutes from the June meeting were a key part of Tuesday’s meeting, as several members of the public accused the council of voting on items that were not on the agenda. A review of the minutes of the June meeting, as well as the agenda, confirmed that three items, including a motion for a city audit, a motion to tape record all city council meetings, and a motion to have the city clerk itemize all bills, were unanimously approved by the council, despite not being listed on the agenda.


Also at issue was the treatment of Vermillion in prior meetings, including comments made about her at the June meeting. Several individuals who were at June’s meeting or who had heard a recording of the meeting rose to speak about what was referred to as disgraceful remarks made about Vermillion. Vermillion confirmed in the meeting and to the News-Review that she too had heard the recording and found the remarks to be insulting. Vermillion also stated that she felt many of the remarks had originated from Councilmember Jeff Ferns. She further stated in the meeting that she felt like Ferns is “out to get” her, a sentiment echoed by numerous citizens who showed up to the council meeting to express support for Vermillion. Mayor Pro Tem Merrill Decker expressed publicly to Vermillion that he supports her and that he will “not be part of a witch hunt” against her.


A full recap of Tuesday’s city council meeting, including analysis from prior meetings, and reactions from Tuesday’s meeting, will be published in the July 18 edition of the News-Review.