Christine Trumbell, left, seated next to city attorney Pat Horschler, records City of Mills council actions on July 25. (Rhonda Schulte, Oil City News)

MILLS, Wyo. — The City of Mills has an interim clerk in place of Christine Trumbull.

Mayor Leah Juarez has appointed City of Mills Treasurer Alyssa Hartman as interim clerk. Plans to immediately fill the position are undetermined.

Although no specific employee is named, the Mills City Council has met in closed session several times over the past two meetings to discuss personnel.

“Council will discuss how we will proceed at another executive session,” Juarez said by email last week.

Trumbull served as city clerk during the Aug. 8 work session and regular council meetings. The City of Mills website no longer includes her photo and contact information on its website in the staff directory.

Neither City Administrator Mike Coleman nor the mayor were available at City Hall late last week to accept phone calls seeking to confirm Trumbull’s absence from the position. When asked by email if Trumbull had been dismissed, Juarez did not provide a reason for the vacancy.

“Due to the nature of your request, I am unable to provide a comment on a [personnel] matter,” she wrote.

Juarez took office as City of Mills mayor in January, replacing Seth Coleman. Until the end of March, when the council voted to change the City of Mills law that addresses retention of department heads and related processes, Mills city mayors could not fire a city department head during the first 13 months of their tenure. 

“It was effectively barring me from doing my job to the full capacity as I was elected to do,” Juarez told Oil City News before a Feb. 28 first-reading vote on the proposed amended ordinance.

In a third and final ordinance reading, the Mills City Council voted 3–2 on March 28 to expand the mayor’s powers, allowing the mayor to fire department heads immediately after beginning their term.

Councilor Brad Neumiller dissented on all three ordinance votes, while Tim Sutherland voted no on second and third readings. Councilors Cherie Butcher and Sara McCarthy as well as Juarez voted in favor all three times.

The ordinance does more than just expand the mayoral powers: It also grants all employees the right to challenge firings they believe to be unjust.

Read the amended City of Mills Ordinance No. 787 here: