Black Diamond city administrator signs agreement

By Dennis Box

For The Courier-Herald

The city of Black Diamond has released details of the severance package negotiated for former City Administrator Gwendolyn Voelpel.

After Mayor Howard Botts terminated Voelpel without cause Sept. 25, the city paid Voelpel $87,016. The agreement was signed by the former city administrator Oct. 19.

The document stated, “Ms. Voelpel, in considering her career path, determined that she should start exploring the marketplace for employment elsewhere. Given her high ethical standards she felt it was appropriate that she should immediately notify the City of this decision, even though it may be a significant period of time before she found another job that met her expectations.

“The City is currently in the middle of processing two land use application for developments (YarrowBay’s The Villages and Lawson Hills) that, when completed, will more than double the size of the City. This is a critical time in the City’s history, and the City is concerned that Ms. Voelpel may find alternative employment sooner rather than later, thus requiring her to leave employment with the City at a time that would not be in the City’s best interests. There is a qualified and experienced person that is currently available to serve the City as its City Administrator.”

Following the termination, Botts wasted little time in naming Leonard Smith as city administrator. Members of the Black Diamond City Council approved the appointment Oct. 1.

Voelpel was hired by the city November 2007 at a monthly salary of $9,441.

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