EDWARDSVILLE The Edwardsville City Council voted Friday morning to end City Administrator Doug Spangler's contract, effective immediately.
The termination was approved unanimously by the four remaining council members. Council member Tim Kelly resigned Monday as a result of controversy surrounding the city's insurance coverage and vulnerability to lawsuits.
Spangler's firing, which prompted several people in the audience to applaud, was part of an agreement between him and the city, according to council President John Broman. Spangler will be paid $180,059 for the salary he would have received through his contract, which would have expired Dec. 31, 2008.
Spangler is expected to sign a document that will prevent him from suing the city, Mayor Stephanie Eickhoff said.
Spangler's contract termination caps several months of criticism and suspicions about the administration of Edwardsville, a Wyandotte County town about 30 miles northeast of Lawrence.
One issue is a development agreement for Raintree Apartments, a 510-unit, $50 million project. Some residents were concerned about tax abatements the city gave the developers, while others were worried what condition the apartments might be in after 10 years or more.
Spangler declined comment after the meeting but distributed a statement and list of economic development in Edwardsville and other accomplishments since he was hired Nov. 27, 2000.
The list included bringing 16 companies to the city, reducing the property tax mill levy by two-thirds and eliminating sewer charges for residents while providing free residential trash collection service.
"All of these projects were accomplished by an administrative team that I was proud to be a member of and lead," Spangler wrote in the statement. "The city of Edwardsville is a wonderful community, and I wish all of the citizens and organizations good luck and I extend my personal wishes for your continued success."
Eickhoff said she had consulted the newly elected council members - Chuck Adams, Doug Danner and Craig Crider - and that they agreed with the decision.
Outgoing council member John Broman said firing Spangler now precludes any animosity between the new council and Spangler, because much of the campaign rhetoric for this week's election centered on criticisms of Spangler and promises to replace him. Broman, who lost his re-election bid, said if he'd been elected he would have tried to keep Spangler.
"It's a bummer that someone who brought so much to the city had to be gotten rid of, all because of controversies that arose in the last 18 months," Broman said.
Eickhoff said she thought the city should be able to function well without a city administrator in the several months it takes to find a new one. She said the mayor, treasurer and city clerk will assume the duties.