By Mason W. Canales and Holly Wise
Killeen Daily Herald
LAMPASAS - After the abrupt firing of City Manager Michael Stoldt, the City Council will appoint an interim city manager Friday.
"(The firing) is something that didn't just pop up in the last week or two weeks," Lampasas Mayor Jerry Grayson said Tuesday. "It has been an ongoing thing."
Stoldt served five years in the $92,000-a-year position. "I just want to stay professional in this," he said Tuesday night. "I have done a good job here. I am proud of my performance with the city of Lampasas."
At the conclusion of a placid council meeting Monday night, the City Council fired Stoldt after a lengthy discussion.
Councilman Chris Harrison made the motion to terminate Stoldt, and Mayor Pro Tem Brad Neely seconded. The final 5-2 vote had Councilwoman T.J. Monroe and Councilman Les Gerhardt opposing the action.
"It's a sad day for Lampasas," Gerhardt said Tuesday. "Regardless of what happens, it will take six months to a year to get a new city manager on board and up to speed."
Grayson said Stoldt performed several duties very well such as developing the city's proposed budget, but there was disagreement between him and the council in some areas.
"He did some good things; there is no question about it," Grayson said, but he cited poor employee morale and the lack of communication between Stoldt and employees as factors attributing to his firing.
Former Mayor Judy Hetherly's opinion of Stoldt differed from Grayson's, and she was shocked by the council's action.
"He was very good at what he did," Hetherly said Tuesday. "He was a very good city manager. He worked well with the citizens and he worked well with the businesses and he did a good job to promote Lampasas."
Both Grayson and Hetherly attributed Stoldt's leadership to accomplishing several capital improvement projects and keeping the city's property tax-rate low.
Grayson said Stoldt did not have a contract with the city.
The City Council will appoint an interim city manager at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcoveeditor.
Contact Holly Wise at email@example.com or (254) 501-7555.