Decision on Hannibal city clerk retention to be announced in a few days


The Hannibal City Council will soon decide whether City Clerk Angel Zerbonia will be retained. Photo by Megan Duncan

HANNIBAL, Mo. — An investigation into work done by City Clerk Angel Zerbonia is complete, but the public will not know the results for a few more days.

After the Tuesday’s meetings, the Hannibal City Council reconvened for closed session to talk about retaining Zerbonia. 

Hannibal City Attorney James Lemon reported the council needed information on a final issue, which he said he would provide during the closed session.

Lemon said under the Sunshine Law, after the council makes its formal decision, it must first tell Zerbonia and then make it public within 72 hours. 

April Azotea, owner of La Azotea Lounge, questioned Lemon during the meeting on whether the decision would be made in closed session.

“The intent is to make the decision tonight,” Lemon said. “I don’t have the authority to make the council do something they don’t want to, but the intent is to finish up this evening, make the final decision and release the information. Now if something comes up in the closed session I don’t know about, obviously I can’t read the future.”

Zerbonia was placed on paid administrative leave around November of last year after she was accused of a hostile work environment.

The City of Hannibal voted to hire an outside investigator on Jan. 4

After that meeting, Lemon said the situation brought to the council’s attention a lack of checks and balances in the city clerk’s office. He explained that all city employees are under the management of City Manager Lisa Peck except the clerk, an independent person who only reports to council.

The budget recently released by the City of Hannibal for 2023-24 reports the Hannibal City Clerk’s annual salary as $82,901.50, which reflects the recent 10 percent raise approved for city employees across the board. 

If retained, and when on paid administrative leave, Zerbonia will receive the 10 percent raise.

In other business:

  • Council voted 4-2 against to Franke and Phillips’ proposal to change the city ordinance and require City Manager Lisa Peck to read her highlights of her monthly city manager reports out loud at city council meetings. This is the ninth consecutive meeting the proposal has been brought before the council.
  • Hannibal Director of Central Services Andy Dorian was approved to hire Bleigh Construction with a bid of $179,000 for the addition of a park shelter at Somalis Nature Preserve. The city was awarded a $100,000 Land Conservation Partnership Grant last year through the Missouri Dept. of Conservation. 
  • Street closure approved for Stacey Colbert Homestead Life Conference on August 6 and 7.
  • Lover’s Leap closure approved for 4th of July fireworks display approved pending insurance.
  • Street closure approved Marsha Mayfield for Junetheen Celebration and parade on June 17 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. from the top of Sixth Street to Center Street, and Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Streets, and Broadway.
  • Street closure approved for Nikki Shepherd for a car show from Adams Street to the end of the Snack Shack on Birch and Hwy 79.
  • Dick Rupp was appointed to the Airport Commission, with his term to expire in September 2025.
  • Biacana Quinn and Matt Lay were appointed to the Hannibal Employee Benefit Trust Board with their terms to expire in May 2026. Ryan Rapp was re-appointed to the board with his term to expire in May 2024.
  • Hannibal Police Chief Jacob Nacke was approved to surplus two vehicles no longer in use due to mechanical issues — a 2005 Chevrolet Impala with 272,750 miles and a 2001 Chevrolet Impala with 86,943 miles on it. He also will surplus approximately 40 Kenwood Portable Radios with accessories no longer needed by the department. The items will be sold by Purple Wave Technology, which charges a 10 percent premium to the buyer. Nacke also was approved to buy a vehicle after one of the department’s two community security officer vans was involved in a traffic crash. Nacke anticipates the cost will be approximately $36,000 to $41,000.
  • Nacke was approved to upgrade handguns for the officers, stating most of the guns they now have were bought in 1999. The money to buy the new guns will come from savings in their current budget.

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