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City administrator says remarks unprofessional

By Staff | Aug 2, 2010

Was it a simple suggestion or public humiliation?

City Administrator Jeremy Germann had no problem when Mayor Shannon Savick asked an item listed as “Old Business/Agenda” be put on Monday’s agenda for discussion.

But, when Savick wanted to talk about projects and things that have been approved and not completed, that’s when she crossed the line.

“I don’t think it’s right to make it look like I haven’t been doing my job,” says Germann. “I care very much for this community. My staff and I work very hard, but there has to be realistic expectations.”The mayor’s comments were out of line and unprofessional, he says, and the matter could have been handled better.

Germann says if his job performance was going to be discussed, it should have been in a closed-session.

“To be evaluating me without notifying me is a violation of the law. Having me respond publicly and unprepared is not right,” he says. “I have worked too hard and tried to be professional to be treated that way.”

On Thursday, Germann took time from a busy schedule to explain the duties of his job that often requires putting in more than 50 hours a week.

He says the council is creating another level of bureaucracy that will only add to the current workload.

The city administrator called Savick’s list of projects needing follow-up “disheartening.” He says various committees have addressed the items and updates are provided in minutes of those meetings.

Germann says recent turnover — such as the street department supervisor, community development director and liquor store manager — has meant extra work for him.

He says paperwork for the state and county, audits, budgets, state aid cuts, staff training and grant applications are just some of the things that need immediate attention.

To make his point, Germann holds up a stack of applications an inch thick for a part-time position that must still be reviewed.

On Thursday, he also had a 5 p.m. deadline to complete a 17-page application for nearly $15,000 in funding for the airport.

Don’t expect Germann to sit down with Savick or the rest of the council to discuss what happened at Monday’s meeting.

“The council has made it very clear what they want. They want to micro-manage and I can’t work that way,” he says. “They are the ultimate authority.”

Germann admits he acted unprofessional by not keeping his feelings to himself.

He plans to discuss with his family his future plans and whether he’ll submit a written resignation at the Aug. 9 meeting.

“If the council is unhappy with the way things are I think they might have to go in another direction,” he says. “I can’t put in any more hours than I am. I have tried my very best to keep the council informed.”

Under a three-year agreement with the city, Germann must give a 30-day notice if he voluntarily resigns.