It was a case of thanks, but no thanks.
Winnebago City Council scheduled a special meeting Tuesday night to discuss contract details with Robert Harris III, who was selected by the council to be the new city administrator.
But, five minutes before the start of the meeting, Mayor Scott Robertson was handed a letter from Harris that had been emailed to City Hall around 4:30p.m. He was turning down the job offer.
“It (letter) came in at the 12th hour. We were prepared to go into closed-session and discuss the contract,” says Robertson. “It took me by surprise.”
Last week, Harris and deputy city clerk Judi Hynes were interviewed to replace Jake Skluzacek.
Council members voted 2 to 1 to offer the position to Harris, who currently is living in Albert Lea.
Robertson says another special meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 1, to determine what their next move will be.
The council can decide whether to offer Hynes the position or restart the search and seek new applications.
Robertson says the council will likely ask Hynes if she’s still interested in the job. If she is, they could go into closed-session to iron out contract details.
“My intentions are to get this hammered out so we can move forward,” says Robertson.
If Hynes is hired, her position would need to be filled. Also, City Attorney David Frundt says her husband must resign from the council due to a conflict of interest it would create.
Tuesday’s meeting will be held at the Municipal Center building and is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.