Rita Sander’s City Administrator Decision

Can Mayor Rita Sanders make the right decision this time? This is the big question. To help you answer this question, you probably need a little history lesson to know what is going on. I was elected to the city council in 1997. Mayor Jerry Ryan wanted to appoint again our city administrator S.P. Benson as city administrator. He made a big mistake as to not poll what the council was going to do. He was voted out, but instead of picking a new city administrator to be appointed, he potentially broke the rules in my opinion, and let S.P. Benson continue instead of appointing a new administrator. He was able to function as city administrator until his untimely death in a car accident.

Moving forward to when I ran for mayor four years ago. I had declared that I wanted Joe Mangimelli as our City Administrator. He lives in Bellevue, was president of the planning commission, and he was then City Administrator of Columbus, NE. He is still the city administrator in Columbus. It got down to Joe and Dan Berlowitz for the choice for our city. I was told that Rita Sanders also wanted Joe. Two days before the selection, Joe called me and said he was withdrawing his name. I asked why and he said four council members were going to vote against him. They were Carol Blood and Don Priester, both currently on the council and Steven Knutson and Scott Houghtaling. When he told the city council in Columbus at their council meeting that he withdrew his name, there was a standing ovation that he was staying in Columbus.

Now we are up to date. If Joe Mangimelli submits his name and he has four votes to appoint him, it’s all over. All Rita Sanders has to do is poll the council members and find out their thinking. This can be a very simple process, unless Rita Sanders has some hidden agenda favoring some special interest group. We should find out what direction she will go.

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