Ashland city government is one step closer to returning to normal after today??s hiring of a new city administrator.
The Board of Aldermen hired Josh Hawkins after a special meeting this morning to discuss city vacancies and the impeachment of a suspended alderman.
Mayor Gene Rhorer accomplished 2 goals during the special meeting. He hired a city administrator and appointed a special attorney to handle the impeachment of suspended alderman Jeff Anderson.
The meeting started with Anderson asking for his job back on the basis the people voted him into office. City leaders denied his request because of his suspension and upcoming impeachment hearing. City leaders approved the hiring of Jefferson City attorney David Bandre to oversee the impeachment hearing.
Rhorer said, ??Mr. Bandre has represented 2 or 3 impeachment proceedings so he is up to date on the process.??
Interim City Attorney Andrew Bach will not be involved with impeachment proceedings and will only handle routine legal matters. Bach would not give any details on the suspension of Alderman Anderson.
Bach said, ??Alderman Anderson was given a letter announcing his suspension. That letter detailed in broad terms the reason for that suspension. Specifics, as I understand it, will come out in the articles of impeachment. That will be a public document. That will be something drafted by Mr. Bandre.??
Ashland city government has seen its share of problems this year with a mayor and 2 aldermen resigning and the loss of a city administrator, city attorney and police chief. All those positions have been permanently filled except for the city attorney job. Bandre will set the impeachment hearing date for Anderson. We asked Rhorer what he wanted to tell the people of Ashland during these trying times. The mayor said he would do his best.
The reason behind the alderman's suspension has not been made public.
Anderson did not want to comment.