Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Administrator Cites Rift with Officials in Quitting His Post

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Administrator Cites Rift with Officials in Quitting His Post

Article excerpt

Hank Sinda said Monday that he was quitting his post as city administrator because of differences with the City Council and mayor over the direction St. Charles should take.

Neither he nor elected officials would specify their differences, but several council members said St. Charles needed a more aggressive, dynamic administrator, especially now that so many major development projects are in the works.

"We agreed that directions weren't coming together and that it would be best to separate," Sinda said.

"The mood of the council in general was Hank's style wasn't quite assertive or aggressive enough," said Councilman Mike Klinghammer, 7th Ward.

Sinda has been on the job 13 months and said he would stay in the $80,000-a-year post until St. Charles finds a replacement or until he finds a new job.

The mayor and councilmen seemed to be caught off guard Friday when Sinda announced in a brief statement that he would be quitting. But Sinda may have seen the handwriting on the wall. His evaluation by the council was due to be completed tonight, and several council members had indicated it wouldn't be very favorable. Neither Mayor Bob Moeller nor any councilmen interviewed said they would object to Sinda's leaving.

Officials said privately that Sinda had a relaxed administrative style and delegated projects and jobs to subordinates without a lot of specific instructions - certainly not as much direction as officials liked.

"He's a great guy, but he seemed to have a hard time determining what his role was with a new mayor and a new council," Klinghammer said.

Sinda, 53, came to St. Charles from Sioux City, Iowa, where he was city manager for five years. He was hired in December 1994 following the recommendation of former Mayor Grace M. Nichols. Nichols lost her re-election bid to Moeller in the April 1995 election, and seven new council members were elected at the same time. …

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