Canby without City Administrator
The morning after Canby's City Council members fired Scott McClure, the city had begun to look for a new city administrator. Amanda Zeiber, as the assistant city administrator, placed a call to Peckham and McKenney, the firm that had recruited McClure.
In their contract, the search firm provided a one-year guarantee that if McClure didn't work out, they would provide those recruitment services for free.
"That firm agreed to provide another search process at no additional charge, except direct expenses. The City Council will meet with Phil McKenney to determine a timeline for recruitment and selection. I anticipate that the City Council will appoint an interim City Administrator at the next Council meeting," which is March 4, said Zeiber.
McClure was fired on Wednesday, Feb. 19 following an adjourned executive session by a vote of 5-1, with only Traci Hensley against it. Despite questions as to why, no answer was given. The firing was "no cause" according to Council members, Mayor Brian Hodson and City Attorney Joe Lindsay. The no-cause was part of McClure's contract.
Another part of McClure's contract was the inclusion of a severance package. The no-cause clause in McClure's contract allowed him to get six month's severance of $75,000 and six months of health insurance. Also in the contract was an agreement not to sue and an agreement not to impugn anyone's name.
That's pretty standard under an executive contract, according to Lindsey. "It's a risk for executives not to include severance and insurance into a contract," Lindsey told the Herald.
As for why he was fired, "…It's a legal matter," the mayor told the Herald as his reason not to explain to the public why McClure was fired. That discussion was under the hood of executive session, Hodson and Lindsay told the Herald. There was an executive session six days earlier when McClure was put on paid administrative leave.
Prior to jobs in eastern Colorado and Monmouth, Oregon, McClure spent 23 months as City Manager for Coos Bay. He was fired in September 2006, when the Coos Bay council voted 5-2 to dismiss him. During his interviews, he told the Herald that Coos Bay didn't work out well.
In the interim, Zeiber, who is also the Canby's Human Resources director, "…will be working with department heads to keep things, such as the budget process, moving forward," Zeiber said. She will be doing that until an interim city administrator is named, she said in an email.
Zeiber has worked the city manager job twice before in her 12-13 years with the city.
Lindsay indicated that because it takes a number of months to find a replacement for the job, they could choose internally or go through the League of Oregon Cities, which has a list of assistant city administrators that could work during the interim. Or, they also could offer to bring back Rick Robinson who served as City Administrator from 2014 through October of 2019, if he's available.
"They could appoint someone at the next City Council meeting. They can decide pretty quickly," Lindsay said.
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