Goddard city administrator fired, mayor resigns


By Sam Jack, TSnews

GODDARD – During a Goddard City Council meeting that took place Tuesday evening as TSnews was going to press, Mayor Larry Zimmerman resigned, city administrator Brian Silcott was fired, and two new council members were appointed and sworn in.
Zimmerman nominated Jeffery Jones to fill a council vacancy that opened recently due to Michael Proctor moving out of town. That nomination failed on a 2-2 vote.
Zimmerman then nominated Aubrey Collins, and Collins was approved by the council, 4-0.
Collins was sworn in, and the five council members then entered a closed-door executive session to discuss non-elected personnel.
Immediately after returning from executive session, council member Hunter Larkin made a motion to dismiss Zimmerman as mayor and call a new mayoral election. Goddard’s mayor is chosen by the council members, voting among themselves.
The vote to dismiss Zimmerman was 4-1, with Zimmerman voting no. Sarah Leland nominated Hunter Larkin to serve as mayor, and Larkin was elected by a vote of 4-1, with Zimmerman voting no. Leland was elected vice-mayor, again by a 4-1 vote.
Larkin then made a motion to add an agenda item: “Removal of certain city staff.”
Zimmerman responded by tendering his resignation from the council, effective immediately.
“Your resignation is accepted,” Larkin quickly replied.
Someone in the council chamber then reminded Larkin that the council needed to vote to accept the resignation. The resignation was accepted 4-0. Zimmerman left the council table.
Larkin moved to fill the new council vacancy created by Zimmerman’s resignation. He recommended Keaton Fish, and Fish was approved 4-0.
Fish was sworn in and took his seat at the council table.
Larkin next made a motion to terminate Silcott’s employment; Leland seconded. The vote was 5-0 in favor of termination.
Silcott rose and stated that his employment contract allows termination only for “just cause.” He also stated that his contract calls for seven days notice, followed by a hearing during which he would be afforded the opportunity to respond, prior to termination.
The council moved back into executive session “to discuss the contract,” Larkin said.
Following that executive session, there was no reversal of Silcott’s termination.
During governing body remarks, Leland said that Tuesday’s meeting represented “a good step forward.”
“We’re going to move in the right direction and do what’s best for this community, our staff and businesses,” she said.
Mayor Larkin said that the governing body’s actions were “tough,” but necessary.
“The day and age where unelected bureaucrats run this town is over. This governing body is going to be more involved than ever before, and that’s a good thing,” Larkin said.
The council went back into executive session once more, this time for a half hour to discuss matters covered by attorney-client privilege. The meeting was adjourned immediately after council members returned to the chamber.
TSnews is working to gather more information.