Except for the limitations otherwise provided herein, the Mayor Pro Tem shall perform the duties of the Mayor in cases of absence or inability of the Mayor to perform those duties. In the exercise of the duties of the office, the Mayor Pro Tem shall not have power to employ, or discharge from employment, officers or employees that the Mayor has the power to appoint, employ or discharge without the approval of the Council.
(Iowa Code § 372.14(3))  (1999 Code, § 16.02)