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Ballwin city administrator resigns

Eric Hanson [file photo]

In what came as a major surprise to many observers, Ballwin Mayor Tim Pogue has announced the resignation of the city’s popular and respected administrator, Eric Hanson.

The announcement came at the city’s Nov. 26 Board of Aldermen meeting. Hanson was not at the meeting and a news release given to media in attendance said his resignation was effective Nov. 21.

At the end of its Nov. 12 regular meeting, city officials met for almost two hours behind closed doors to discuss personnel-related issues but there was no public announcement about any actions taken when that session ended. Missouri law permits public bodies to meet privately to discuss those issues and a limited number of others such as legal matters and real estate transactions.

According to the news release, a special board meeting then was held Nov. 14 to discuss filling the vacancy created by Hanson’s resignation, which presumably had been discussed during the closed-door session two days earlier. Notice of the special meeting was posted at city hall and on the city’s website the day before the session was scheduled; however, there was no announcement sent directly to the news media.

According to a response from the city, the date of Hanson’s resignation was Nov. 14 when he signed a separation agreement. The board then decided a formal announcement would be made at its next regular meeting.

On Nov. 26, Pogue also announced that Bob Kuntz will serve in his former position as city administrator on an interim basis until the vacancy is filled. Kuntz was Ballwin’s city administrator for nearly 27 years before retiring in 2015; Hanson was named to succeed him.

As was the case in hiring Hanson, the Ballwin board will conduct a nationwide search to fill the vacancy.

“Mr. Hanson’s leadership has greatly benefited our organization and we wish him the best of luck,” Pogue said in the news release. “Ballwin has a tremendous reputation for being a wonderful place to live and raise a family, and although a change in senior leadership will affect some things, it will not affect the quality of service our residents receive.”

Hanson is quoted in the news release as saying, “After careful consideration and discussion with the board and my family, I have decided I am ready to pursue other interests and opportunities. I am extremely proud of all we have accomplished and wish the board and our tremendous staff nothing but the best going forward.”

Hanson has gained a reputation for his openness and candor, for welcoming ideas and other input from Ballwin employees and encouraging them to take ownership of ways to improve the city’s services to residents.

 

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