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Jefferson City administrator resigns after nine years


The man who has run Jefferson City for nine years resigned Monday.

The City Council accepted the resignation of Steve Crowell, who took over as city administrator in March 2014, during a closed meeting Monday, the city said in a news release. New Mayor Ron Fitzwater, who was sworn in Monday night, said the city will immediately begin a nationwide search for a replacement.

Jack Deeken, a council member that represents Ward 1, told ABC17 news that Crowell's resignation did not come as a surprise. He also said Crowell decided it was time to retire after nine years holding the position.

"I think he had other things he wanted to do in his life before he got too old," Deeken said. "I think it's a good decision for him, he's still young enough he can enjoy his retirement, but he can also enjoy the fruits of his labors."

The city is establishing a search committee and determining the hiring process, the release said.

Ryan Moehlman, city attorney, was appointed acting city administrator. He will take over operations effective immediately. Moehlman has been city attorney since October 2016. Deeken said Moehlman will only act as the city administrator for a short period of time while the city searches for an interim administrator.

"So we're gonna have a short-term and then an interim probably for a few months and then hopefully we can come to an agreement with what direction the city should be and hire a new administrator," Deeken said.

Executive Director of the Missouri Municipal League Richard Sheets said nine years is a typical tenure for city administrator. He also said the amount of time it takes the city to find a new administrator could depend on recent labor issues and how many people apply for the position.

"Usually, it takes about I would say six months really to get somebody," Sheets said. "You know, that's probably the average... you know but six months is in a good year, so we'll see" 

The city is still looking for the search committee it will hire to help find a replacement for the role.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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