Jefferson City administrator Nathan Nickolaus fired

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - The city council in Jefferson City fired the city's administrator Nathan Nickolaus.

Council members went into a closed session Monday night to discuss personnel matters.

Mayor Eric Struemph requested a motion to terminate Nickolaus in the closed-door session.

Struemph cited a difference of opinion over direction and "visioning" for the city.

"I believe the council made the right decision to move our city forward," Struemph said in a statement.

The City Council is in the midst of considering two competing proposals for a conference center. Struemph said it is important that the next administrator be on board with plans to build the center.

Nickolaus told ABC 17 News the final vote was 8-2, with Fourth Ward member Carrie Carroll and Third Ward member Ken Hussey dissenting.

He said he is surprised and saddened it did not work out.

Nickolaus filled the spot permanently in late 2011, after the former administrator, Steve Rasmussen, was fired in May. Before taking over, Nickolaus served as the city's attorney.

Current city attorney Drew Hilpert will be the interim city administrator with the condition that he will not fill the position permanently.

"Nathan is a friend and mentor and he should be proud of his accomplishments with the city over the last 10 years," Hilpert said.

The city is planning to establish a search committee to hire the new city administrator. Officials will put a hold on the current search for a new finance director until they fill the city administrator position.

Stay with ABC 17 News and for more on this developing story.

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