Open season on city admins

Gary Sosniecki

Gary Sosniecki


It’s open season on city administrators in Missouri.

Chris Heard apparently is on his way out as Lebanon’s city administrator after a power struggle with Mayor Josh Ray, who seems to have overwhelming support of the citizenry.

I say “apparently,” because like a cat with nine lives, Heard has survived threats to his job before. He’s still officially on the job through June 30, and, including severance, he’ll get another six months’ pay after that. Search for “Heard” in The Daily Record’s online archives, and you’ll find these headlines about other times when Heard apparently was on his way out, starting in 2012, the year after he was hired:

“Heard avoids being terminated. Motion in closed session fails 3-5 to fire city administrator ‘without reason.’” (Nov. 13, 2012)

“Council rejects Heard’s goals. Some members want lawyer to look at city administrator’s contract.” (Nov. 26, 2012)

“‘No confidence’ vote for Heard. Anderson says 5 members of council feel the city administrator isn’t moving quickly enough on some projects.” (Aug. 12, 2013)

“Council fails to fire Heard. Mayor: 5-4 not enough to end contract” (Nov. 11, 2013)

“Heard will not have contract after March 31. Mayor Anderson signs resolution to end city administrator’s employment agreement.” (Nov. 24, 2013)

“Nuts,” a column by Katie Hilton trying to make sense of Heard receiving $22,789.78 in severance when council canceled his employment contract, even though Heard remained on the job. (March 27, 2014)

And now the taxpayers will pay severance to Heard a second time. Nuts again.

This time, Heard actually has signed a letter of resignation, the severance agreement has been signed, and both sides are saying polite things about the other.

For the complete column, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.


The Lebanon Daily Record

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Lebanon, MO 65536
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