JC council fires city administrator; mayor confirms dismissal

Editor's note: For an updated and expanded report on this topic, see Mayor cites experience, unreached goals in firing of city administrator posted on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013.

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Mayor Eric Struemph confirmed Monday in a press release that he asked the City Council to fire City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus during a closed session Monday night, and they did so by a vote of 8-2.

In the press release, Struemph stated: “I believe the Council made the right decision to move our City forward. We will immediately begin a nationwide search for a City Administrator who will work with the Council and me as we embark on what I believe will be a significant economic upswing in the next several years. This is an excellent opportunity for Jefferson City.”

The press release confirmed city attorney Drew Hilpert was appointed as the Interim ciity administrator with a condition that he not be a candidate for the position permanently.

Hilpert said in the press release: “The Council asked me to hold this position for the next few months because of my involvement in some of our major projects. Neither the Council nor I consider this appointment to be anything more than temporary. Nathan is a friend and mentor and he should be proud of his accomplishments with the City over the last ten (10) years.”

The search for a finance director has been put on hold until a new city administrator is filed, the press release said.

POSTED AT 10:44 A.M.

The Jefferson City Council voted to fire City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus in a closed session Monday night.

Fourth Ward Councilwoman Carrie Carroll said the council voted 8-2 to fire Nickolaus after a standard evaluation of his performance. Carroll and 3rd Ward Councilman Ken Hussey were the sole opposing votes.

Carroll said Nickolaus was blamed for issues concerning a proposal for floating holidays during the budget sessions and for not doing enough to promote the conference center or plant more positive stories in the press.

City attorney Drew Hilpert is expected to be named interim city administrator, though he will not be allowed to take the position full-time.

In an email Tuesday morning, Hilpert said the council did take action during the closed session about personnel. He said a release would be sent out soon.

Efforts to reach Mayor Eric Struemph and Nickolaus were unsuccessful.

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