Updated March 22 at 10:06 a.m.

Shenandoah Mayor Ritch Wheeler said that Public Works Director Joseph Peart has agreed to assume the role of interim city administrator until a permanent city administrator is hired.

“We will continue our search for our next city administrator, collecting resumes and setting up interviews as we do,” Wheeler said. “In the meantime, our Public Works Director Joseph Peart has agreed to step up and fill in as interim city administrator. Joseph is a tenured employee who is highly respected by the rest of the staff and he will do a great job.”

Peart began serving the city of Shenandoah as a patrol officer with the Shenandoah Police Department in October 2006.

"I’m honored to serve as the interim city administrator for the city of Shenandoah," Peart said. "I have a love for the residents and the community, which has grown over the years I have worked for the city."

Peart will begin his term as interim city administrator April 1, directly following Reyer's resignation March 31.

“We hate losing Kathie, but we are excited for her in her new opportunity,” Wheeler said. “Kathie has been an integral part of city staff for over a decade and she will be missed by coworkers, council members and residents alike. Kathie helped us transition through a difficult six months and yet employee morale has never been higher. She is a true leader and we wish her well.”

Published March 14 at 8:49 p.m.

Shenandoah Interim City Administrator Kathie Reyer announced her resignation during the March 14 regular City Council meeting, after 11 years of working for the city.

Reyer, former Shenandoah city secretary, assumed the role of interim city administrator after the resignation of former administrator Greg Smith in September 2017. Smith held that position for eight years.

During the city administrator’s comments portion of the meeting, Reyer revealed that she was a finalist for the permanent position of city administrator. However, she added that she would be resigning from the city of Shenandoah to accept a director position in the Austin area.

Reyer said her last day with the city would be March 31.

Read her statement to the council, below:

“I want to say that serving as your interim city administrator for the last seven months has been very rewarding. I am honored recently to learn that I am finalist for the permanent city administrator position. However, it is with regret that I must announce my resignation tonight, after almost 11 years of working for the city. This decision was not an easy one to make. Unexpectedly, I was offered a position—a director position in the Austin area. Some of you may know that my daughter lives in Austin so I’ve been looking at that area for quite some time—my husband and I have. My husband and I believe that the challenges offered by this new director position along with the opportunity to be close to family is the best move for us at this time. I want to thank the mayor, council, mayor pro-tem, for the tremendous opportunity you’ve given me. It’s been a great experience and I’ve enjoyed it. Many residents and leaders in the business community have also come forward to express their encouragement and support over the last several months and I’m very grateful for that. The confidence that you’ve shown in me has meant so much, but I want to focus more importantly on the reason for my success as interim city administrator and that is the people who work here. You’re fortunate to have a group of dedicated, hardworking, talented people who work together as a team. And we’ve done that—we’ve come together as a team and we’ve worked together under, often, difficult circumstances. I want to thank my fellow employees, they’re not all here unfortunately, [but their] support has been very overwhelming and they’ve all come forward to express their disappointment yet their support for my decision. The level of professionalism and expertise here is exceptional. And I’m proud of the work that we’ve done during the last seven months. Just to close out these comments, I wanted to say that I’ve enjoyed getting to know each one of you better and working with you and it’s been a privilege, so I thank you for that.”

During council’s inquiry, several council members expressed their appreciation for Reyer’s work.

“This past transition has been amazing and mostly [that’s] all due to you and our great staff that’s surrounded you and come out and helped support you and worked for the good of the city,” Council Member Mike McLeod said. “So I definitely want to appreciate everything you’ve done. I know how hard you’ve worked.”

City Attorney William Ferebee also reiterated that a formal ordinance complaint against Reyer, made by former council members Gary Henson and Garry Watts in November, had been closed. Henson and Watts filed a formal ordinance complaint against Reyer on Nov. 3, 2017, asserting that she was in violation of Ordinance Section 2-97A: Powers and Duties of Interim City Administrator or Assistant City Administrator and/or Section 2-98: Powers and Duties of City Administrator.

Although Ferebee announced in February that Reyer had been cleared by the district attorney of all charges, Henson asked the district attorney to take another look at the case. During the March 14 meeting, Ferebee announced that the district attorney said the charges had no merit.

“While we’re losing Kathie to this spectacular opportunity in Austin and the chance to unite her family, she is not leaving the city due to the dirty, despicable politics played by a handful of deplorables here in Shenandoah,” Council Member Ron Raymaker said.

The council will continue its search for a permanent city administrator, as Reyer is no longer a candidate.

“We certainly have another meeting to congratulate you and tell you how happy we are with the work that you’ve done but in your statement, you said that you were proud of the work you’ve done as interim city administrator and you certainly should be,” Council Member Byron Bevers said.