This is not the last remake of “Young Frankenstein.” Torch waving villagers won’t storm the castle demanding, “Throw the monster out.” Neither, do we have a town hall form of government where everyone has a vote and a voice on all matters municipal. Kevin Huckabee’s continued employment as city administrator rests with only two parties. Both should conclude the time has come for a change.
The Jefferson City Council can resolve this issue Sept. 6. Huckabee serves at will. There is a 30-notice requirement, but no contractual or other legal entanglements to ending his employment by the city. Even if all allegations against Huckabee are proven false, his continued effectiveness as city administrator must be suspect. No one is irreplaceable. He has begun to make mistakes with matters that should be routine. Any city administrator will receive criticism. Someone will always be unhappy with his decisions. The council must weigh, however, if the city would sail a calmer, straighter line with a new hand on the tiller. Have Huckabee clear his desk immediately, pay him through September and aim to be just if someone asks for a reference.
You have done some good things for Jefferson, Huck. Perhaps what is happening to you is not fair, but you have managed to alienate a sizeable, influential portion of this city. Do you think you could survive a popular “no confidence” vote? Do you really want to hang around until some charge or other is proven? In the #Metoo age, the courage it takes for a woman to publicly accuse a colleague of unwelcome behavior that is inherently sensitive and private is recognized and the traditional standard of guilt beyond all reasonable doubt is waved in the workplace. While former Tourism Director Kelly Schilling did not help her complaint against you with inconsistent stories, you should recognize an argument you cannot win. No one likes to be defeated. No one wants to quit. A time comes, though, to face reality. Exit with a level of professional dignity and continue to move forward in your career. Ask for your 30-day severance pay and tender your resignation. This play is over.
Jefferson residents may want to contact one or both of their aldermen and voice their sentiments on this subject before the council meets at 5:35 p.m. tonight.
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