(MONROE, WA) -- After six years on the job, today is the last day Jim Southworth will be Monroe’s city administrator. After a closed-door session earlier this month the Monroe city council voted unanimously to terminate Southworth's employment contract with the city.
City officials provided no reason or reasons for the termination other than a brief comment attributed to Monroe Mayor Donetta Walser that the city might be reorganizing and moving in another direction. Southworth began working for the city in May 2002 and before that was city manager in Toppenish, Washington.
Southworth said a cause was not cited in the termination notice.
Mayor Walser and Southworth were known to have had a working relationship that may not have been the strongest one for the city, according to one council member. Prior to the vote this month to terminate Southworth’s contract, council members had in the past questioned Southworth about his management style and his handling of administrative duties.
Published reports indicate that at one time in the past Mayor Walser asked the council to authorize termination of the Southworth’s contract but the council took no action at that time.
Monroe’s city administrator serves under the direction of the mayor and functions much as a General Manager or Chief Operating Officer of a business in supervising city offices and departments and making sure city policies and ordinances are followed and carried out.