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Grand Island city council left frustrated by mayor's actions
Grand Island Mayor Jay Vavricek's move has Grand Island city council members confused and frustrated.
"I'm rather sad that one of our elected officials, the mayor, has chosen the path that he has," said council member Larry Carney.
Mayor Vavricek first asked City Administrator Mary Lou Brown to resign from her position in June. Applications for the administrator position closed on September 14th. The city received 26 applications.
Although Vavricek released a statement Friday night taking back his prior decision saying:
"My decision to seek Brown's resignation was based on external factors and political outcries and I shouldn't have allowed that to affect a workplace decision."
"I was very disappointed by the statement the mayor's office released."
"We were asked by the mayor how we felt about bringing Mary Lou Brown back. The overwhelming majority said no," said Carney.
Carney believes this decision has destroyed the relationship between city council and Mayor Vavricek.
"The mayor has ceased to be an effective executive to lead Grand Island," Carney said.
A formal mayoral recall was started earlier this week and now given the decision to keep Mary Lou Brown on as city administrator signatures are picking up.
Jeb Wolsleben is heading up the recall petition. He says people that were on the fence before were swayed by Friday night's announcement.
"Since then it's just been an onslaught of people coming down to sign," said Wolsleben.
The petition got around 200 signatures Saturday alone.
"He just continues to do whatever he wants without regards to anybody else's feelings or views on the subject," Wolsleben said.
Two city council members have already signed the petition. It may not be long before more join in.
"Putting our name on that tells the citizens we're listening to you and we understand. We're there with you."
Mayor Vavricek's recent actions may be the final straw in his mayoral term.
"My first thought was this will probably seal his fate in the recall election."
Without the support of city council and a rapidly growing amount of disappointed citizens it may be the mayor's seat that comes up for question next.
Mayor Vavricek has not responded to News 5's requests to comment. And while momentum for the recall is growing, Wolsleben says because of a sudden death in his family - the death of his father - the petition site will be closed Monday and Tuesday.
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