Gladstone removing city manager

GLADSTONE — The Gladstone City Commission voted to begin the process of removing City Manager Darcy Long from his position at a special meeting Tuesday night. The meeting was supposed to be in closed session, however, Long did not requested it so the meeting was open to the public.

Gladstone Public Safety Director Ron Robinson will act as interim city manager until a more permanent interim city manager can be selected.

“I’ll start with a motion and then we can discuss. So my motion is … I’d like to make a motion to provide in writing notice of removal from office for misfeasance, malfeasance and nofeasance to Manager Long,” Mayor Joe Thompson said.

Misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance are types of failure to discharge public obligations existing by common law, custom or statute.

Long will be suspended until a hearing addressing the issue. The notice automatically suspends the manager pending the date fixed for the hearing. The city commission scheduled Long’s hearing for Monday, July 22, at 5 p.m. before the regular city commission meeting.

Thompson said a decision on termination will be discussed at the hearing.

During the meeting no details were discussed on the reasons behind removing Long from his position.

Thompson explained to begin the process of removing Long the commission must follow the city charter and Long’s contract. He said the charter says if the commission for any reason should want to remove the city manager at any time, they would have to notify the manager in writing of the specific reasons and have a date within 30 days for a hearing.

Commissioner Brad Mantela questioned if the hearing would be conducted in open or closed session.

Thompson said the charter does not specify if the hearing has to be in public or not, but that would be clarified before the hearing.

Long left the meeting while the commission voted on the motion to begin his removal.

During the meeting, the city commission also voted to have Robinson act as the interim city manager with the help of City Clerk Kim Berry. Robinson would act as the interim manager during the suspension period and until another interim city manager is selected.

“And typically our policy when the manager, you know, is out of town or unavailable or on vacation, it’s typically the public safety director and then myself for day to day operations,” Berry said.