Mayor Vavricek released a statement Friday explaining his decision to ask City Administrator Mary Lou Brown to withdraw her resignation in light of the current recall situation.
In June the mayor asked Brown to resign and began the search for a new City Administrator. The city received 24 valid applications by the deadline of September 14 but of these applicants the mayor said, "of those with municipal experience, there were very few who had served in a city of more than 10,000 in population."
In his statement Vavricek said, "with a recall in progress and the related uncertainty, it doesn't seem fair to anyone involved to move forward with the process at this time. Instead, I have asked City Administrator Mary Lou Brown to withdraw her resignation, before its effective date, and I have accepted that withdrawal."
The mayor stated that the uncertainty of the current situation led him to go in this direction.
"Under a recall petition drive, it doesn't make much sense to hire anyone when you can't tell a city administrator candidate who their employment will be linked with or for how long," said the mayor.
Vavricek said that it would not make sense to make a hiring decision at this time and went on to say that asking for Brown's resignation was a mistake.
"City Administrator Brown didn't deserve to be" asked" for her resignation. For that I apologize to her publicly," said the mayor.
"Sometimes when you do too much, too fast you can make mistakes. While I hate to admit a mistake, I made one and I own up to it. While I made a decision and sought a resignation in June, it was the wrong decision. My decision to seek Brown's resignation was based on external factors and political outcries and I shouldn't have allowed that to affect a workplace decision," Vavricek said.
The mayor said that he does not want there to be a long term vacancy in this position and that he also wants to avoid appointing an interim under the current circumstances.
"One thing I've learned over the last year or so is that when you spread yourself too thin as we did with City Administrator Brown wearing two hats between the city administrator's office and the Finance department, it doesn't work well," Vavricek said.
The mayor said, "with so much uncertainty, I'm doing what I think makes the most sense and is in the best interest of the organization and our community."