Neosho hires new city manager

Leland ButcherCourtesy | City of Neosho

NEOSHO, Mo. — The Neosho City Council accepted the resignation of city manager Leland Butcher during a special meeting Thursday. 

In two motions, both passed unanimously, the board accepted his resignation, and released him from his employment immediately, granting him an extra two months of salary. He was earning an annual salary of $95,000.

According to city policy, Police Chief David Kennedy will likely be appointed as interim city manager, said Mayor William Doubek on Wednesday. That assignment was made official upon the acceptance of Butcher's resignation, Doubek said after the meeting.

The reason for his resignation is unclear. According to a statement Doubek read after the meeting, the reason for his departure is considered a personnel matter, and will not be discussed by city staff or officials. 

However, Doubek said he hated to lose Butcher from the city.  On Wednesday he cited Butcher's skill with strategic planning. After the council approved his resignation, Doubek hugged Butcher and, after the meeting, called him a friend. 

Butcher remained silent on the reason for his departure. After the meeting, he said only that he wishes the city of Neosho the best of luck in the future. 

Doubek said on Wednesday that Butcher recently earned a doctorate's degree, which opens up new opportunities for him. 

Formerly of Bentonville, Arkansas, Butcher was hired in September to effectively replace Troy Royer, who resigned in November, 2016. Dana Daniel, a former director of economic development and planning, served as the interim city manager until Butcher's hiring. 

The city will now begin its search during a busy time of the year. The council is beginning to work on the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins in October. It has also moved to ask voters a second time for a use tax on purchases made outside of city limits — council members in previous meetings have said that they will have to do a better job of communicating with residents about the need for that tax. 

A time frame for a new search has not yet been determined. 

This is a developing report and will be updated. 

Follow Digital Editor Joe Hadsall on Twitter at @JoeHadsall.

Joe Hadsall is the digital editor for The Joplin Globe. He has been the editor of the former Nixa News-Enterprise and has worked for the Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine.