Scott County administrator survives vote to fire him

After heated and at times personal debate, the Scott County Board voted not to fire County Administrator Gary Shelton today.

The 3-2 vote came after Commissioner Joe Wagner introduced a motion to terminate Shelton.

“All I’ve got to say, it’s time for a change,” Wagner said. He did not elaborate on his problems with Shelton, nor did Commissioner Dave Menden, who also voted to fire the administrator.

“There’s a lot of mistrust between me and Gary and it goes way back,” Menden said. “I got a list of at least 20 things at home, none that I’m going to bring up.”

Just four months ago the commission voted unanimously that Shelton exceeded expectations in his annual performance evaluation, according to county Employee Relations Director Jack Kemme. That led other members of the county board to suggest today’s motion was motivated by personal differences.

“Do you get to say, ‘I don’t like somebody, so we should fire him?'” Commissioner Jon Ulrich asked. “We’re here to represent the public and work for the betterment of our county. If we’ve got a personal feeling, get over it.”

If the board had voted to fire Shelton, he could have demanded a public hearing on the matter and formal written charges from the board. Shelton declined to comment on today’s vote.

Video of the debate is available on the Scott County website.