Shady Cove officials say upcoming vacancies for mayor and city administrator positions offer a chance to move forward after a tough few years.
City Council voted unanimously Aug. 22 to support a separation agreement with City Administrator Danise Brakeman, while Mayor Ron Holthusen, who recently announced his resignation date for as early as October, will move to Jacksonville.
In May, Councilor Leith Hayes requested an executive session to formally reprimand Brakeman after a heated exchange during the May 2 council meeting over what he described as disrespectful and insubordinate behavior directed toward him. It ended with an apology from Brakeman to Hayes.
Neither councilors nor Holthusen would say what led to the formal split with their city administrator of nearly three years.
"Sometimes events and issues arise, and it has not been an easy thing here in Shady Cove the last three, four years with the economy," Holthusen said. "Through the course of events things just get to the point where moving forward in a different direction is better for everybody involved. ... It's just one of those decisions that you see in the business and the public sectors," he said.
Brakeman, who will remain in her role through the end of September, would not comment on the separation agreement, other than to say it was mutual.
"She has done some really wonderful things for the city in her tenure, no question about that," Holthusen said. "She had to make some tough decisions that weren't popular, but she has brought financial strength to the city. ... Her skills with city finances and budgeting are strong, she's done really a great job."
Holthusen, 70, in the first year of his third two-year term, said making the decision to uproot from Shady Cove for Jacksonville was a hard choice for him and his wife to make, but the couple are looking forward to settling into a new home on a piece of property they located years ago.
Shady Cove City Councilor Bill Kyle resigned, citing doctor's orders to relieve stress after having a stroke this summer.
Kyle, 81, entering his 12th year as a councilor, sent Holthusen a letter of resignation following the council's Aug. 1 meeting. Kyle didn't attend the following meeting on Aug. 22, when Holthusen read the letter to council members.
— Sam Wheeler