City manager says departure was prompted by council not renewing her contract.

April 21, 2021

City manager says departure was prompted by council not renewing her contract.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — Hart City Manager Lynne Ladner said her departure from employment with the city was prompted by the city council not renewing her contract.

The city council voted in March to not renew her contract, which expires in July. “I was left with no other option but to seek other employment.” Her last day as city manager is May 7, and she has accepted another position in Florida.

– Contributed photo

According to the minutes of the March 23, 2021 meeting, the council voted 6-1 to not renew Ladner’s contract and voted unanimously to have the city attorney “prepare the appropriate documentation to support the motion.”

“I felt it was best to make a clean break with the city,” she said. 

Ladner said she submitted a letter of “notice of leaving” April 15 to Mayor Vicki Platt, which states the following:

“I would like to inform you that I am resigning from my position as city manager for the City of Hart effective May 7, 2021. I will be utilizing several vacation days during this transition period but will be available via phone and email on days that I am not in the office.

“Thank you very much for the opportunities that I have experienced during my time with the community, I have enjoyed my time here and the friends that I have made during my tenure. In acknowledging the Council’s decision at the March 23, 2021 meeting, it is best for myself and the community that I move forward with transitioning at this time. I will work with city staff and consultants to assist during this period to the best of my ability.”

Platt said the council voted to not renew the contract because it wasn’t written professionally, and a new contract has been drafted. “It is significantly more professional this time around.”

The mayor said it was not her job performance that was the reason for the contract not being renewed, but the decision was made due to the contract’s wording.

Ladner was hired in 2018 when long-time Hart City Manager Stan Rickard retired from the position. She previously held city manager positions in South Lyon, Michigan and Hiawatha, Kansas.

– Contributed photo

The position, which is in the salary range of $85,000-$105,000, has been posted on various web sites, such as Linkedin, said Mayor Platt.

“It’s fair to say we were going to work well together for a little longer,” said Mayor Vicki Platt. “Lynn brought a lot of good things to the city.”

The city council is planning to appoint an interim city manager at its next regular meeting Tuesday, April 27, said Mayor Platt. 

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