GI City Administrator Out Following Unexpected Surgery
By Steve White, Grand Island Bureau Chief - bio | email
Grand Island City Administrator Mary Lou Brown is recuperating after "unexpected surgery" this weekend and the city's public information officer says "we don't know how long she will be out."
According to city spokesperson Wendy Meyer-Jerke, Brown's absence is "indefinite" but Brown will be out all this week at a minimum.
Meyer-Jerke did not discuss the nature of Brown's surgery, only that it was unexpected.
It comes in the wake of Mayor Jay Vavricek's decision to keep Brown in her position, months after asking her to resign.
On Friday evening, Vavricek issued a statement, explaining that decision.
The city had been searching for a new city administrator, but Vavricek said "very few" of the 24 applicants had served in a larger city like Grand Island.
In addition, the mayor said the timing was not good to attract candidates. 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."
Vavricek said it didn't make sense to hire someone whose employment is linked with the mayor, especially when the mayor is the subject of a recall campaign.
To add to the situation, recall organizer Jeb Wolsleben has put his petition-gathering effort on hold, after his father's death this weekend.
Wolsleben previously stated much of his opposition to Vavricek has to do with Mary Lou Brown's performance as city administrator. And now Brown finds herself recovering from unplanned surgery, in the latest twist to the ongoing saga.