Our Opinion - City progress: Under new management

New chief executives are entitled to administrators of their choosing.

Jefferson City voters elected Eric Struemph to serve as mayor and he, along with three new City Council members, were seated last month.

On Tuesday, residents learned City Administrator Steve Rasmussen has been terminated, effective immediately.

“I feel that the City Council and myself felt that it was time to move forward with a new management team to help our city ..., Struemph said, explaining the action.

The mayor did not make the decision unilaterally; the council concurred on a 9-0 vote with one council member absent.

We acknowledge Rasmussen had his detractors, but this opinion is not about him.

In a conversation Wednesday, the mayor reiterated the decision was based on a desire to “move forward.”

“I thank Steve for his service and wish him well,” Struemph said.

The mayor said Jefferson City is on the threshold of an economic boom, including the planned construction and operation of a new St. Mary’s Health Center.

He envisions a new city management team that will include not only a new administrator, but some reorganization with attention to the scheduled retirement of the interim director of community development.

Struemph also said he will seek an administrator who can communicate and carry out the policies crafted by the mayor and council. That communication will extend beyond the city through partnerships with Cole County, the area Chamber of Commerce and other entities.

The mayor said qualifications he seeks include leadership, an ability to multi-task, experience and a commitment to the community.

We weren’t privy to the discussion in closed session, but we are comfortable with the decision.

The mayor and council we elected believe a new management team is desirable.

Let’s assemble a responsive, responsible team dedicated to community progress.

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