Stevens out as city administrator
COTTAGE GROVE — Charlene Stevens has been fired as city administrator.
City Council unanimously voted to terminate her contract at its Nov. 7 meeting.
"I do want to thank Charlene Stevens for her years of service to the City Council, city staff and to the citizens of Cottage Grove," Mayor Myron Bailey said.
The move follows her yearly performance review, which City Council member Steve Dennis called for at the Sept. 19 City Council meeting.
"I thought she did a great job in a multitude of areas," Bailey said. "We're just looking for someone to do it all. I think it was best for everyone involved. The most I can tell you is that the council decided it was time to move in a different direction."
Bailey said the details of Stevens's performance review are confidential. The Minnesota Data Practices Act makes some employee data public, but other information is private and cannot be released.
At the the same meeting, City Council also voted to appoint Jennifer Levitt as interim city administrator, with a temporary salary adjustment. Levitt previously worked as community development director/city engineer.
Stevens's annual salary was $138,000.
Bailey said they could make Levitt's position permanent by the end of the year. He said she recently was a finalist for the position of city administrator in South St. Paul.
"We believe that Jennifer is better aligned with the goals and objectives," Bailey said.
Stevens was hired in October 2015 following the resignation of Ryan Schroeder, who was Cottage Grove city administrator for 17 years.
Stevens was hired to help Cottage Grove forge a new approach to economic development. The job description also stressed the ability to communicate with city staff, members of the community and elected officials.
A native of Sioux Falls, S.D., Stevens served more than three years as city administrator in Willmar, Minn.
She could not be reached for comment.