Mayor Tyrone Garner said the county’s interim administrator will not seek a permanent position. He made his remarks at the Thursday night Unified Government Commission meeting.
Garner also said she would recommend starting a national search for a permanent administrator expeditiously.
The mayor said he would be working with the interim administrator and legal team to help in the process of searching for a permanent administrator.
He said he hoped to have a thorough, inclusive and transparent process.
He said he also would work with the commission to gets its feedback as they send out a national notice for the administrator. Working with the community on it also will be important, he said.
Later in the meeting, interim administrator Cheryl Harrison-Lee told the commission she was working on three audit projects. The first is a general audit of the entire UG; the other two are human relations and the finance department, she said.
She said she will start to present results of the audits next month. The results of the general audit of the UG will be presented first, she said.
She also outlined some of the accomplishments in the first four months.
Harrison-Lee said she looked forward to assist the mayor as he searches for a permanent administrator, and she would work with the governing body, citizens and staff.
During a public comment time after Mayor Garner’s announcement, several community residents said they hoped Cheryl Harrison-Lee, the interim administrator, would stay.
Carolyn Wyatt, a resident, said she hoped Harrison-Lee would change her mind.
Reginald Jones, a resident, said the UG commissioners were not visible enough in the community.
Reese Towers, a resident, said she was praying that Harrison-Lee would stay.
“The attacks against Ms. Cheryl Harrison-Lee, against our mayor, and against our staff is sad,” she said, adding it was “set up.”
Tscher “Cece” Manck, a resident, said it was important for Harrison-Lee to stay and complete the audit she has started of UG departments.
Lisa Yeager, a business owner who has property in Kansas City, Missouri, said she was almost in tears that Harrison-Lee is leaving.
Thomas Gordon, a resident, said he was concerned about the way Commissioner Andrew Davis was responding at a recent UG Commission meeting. “We are watching your behavior,” he said.
Melvin Williams, a resident, said if he wanted to watch something like the mayor and commission, he could stay home and watch two kids fight over a remote control.
“Let this woman do her job,” Williams said about Harrison-Lee.
Commissioner Gayle Townsend pointed out, in response to one of the comments, that she had put in seven hours at a UG committee meeting Monday night, and the week before that she attended three neighborhood meetings in the community.
“You have no idea what it takes,” Commissioner Townsend said.
Commissioner Chuck Stites said that he hoped the audit would not end, and also that Harrison-Lee will still have the opportunity to apply for the permanent UG administrator position.