In what city staff and a council member are calling a "shocking" development this week, the mayor of Albertville has asked for that city's top staff person to step down from his position.
According to members of the council and staff members from the City of Albertville, Mayor Mark Meehan visited l Monday and asked City Administrator Larry Kruse to resign as Albertville's top staff person.
Kruse told Meehan he would not resign from his post.
Neither party involved in that meeting returned St. Michael Patch's requests for comment.
City staff was notified of the meeting and resignation request by Kruse Wednesday morning. Albertville Fire Chief Tate Mills, who reports directly to Kruse, said he was "surprised."
"Larry called himself to tell me what had happened, and I was very surprised, yes," Mills said Wednesday afternoon. "He's been good to work with. Larry's supported us [the fire department] 100 percent. We've never had any issues with administration."
Council member Larry Sorensen said he was flat out "shocked" Meehan would ask Kruse to step down. He said he expects the issue to be placed on the Monday, April 16, meeting agenda.
"This is something that is very shocking to me," Sorensen said. "We just had a review for Larry [Kruse] back in December, and as a group the council gave Larry a favorable review in what was a public and open workshop. I just don't know the justification for it."
Former Mayor Ron Klecker, who was informed of the meeting Tuesday night, said he talked with city staff Wednesday and heard through the grapevine a couple of Meehan's grievances.
"From what I've heard, Mark hasn't been happy with the way Albertville is working with the City of Otsego on various issues. That's a difficult thing to hold against [Larry]," said Klecker, who was part of the council that hired Kruse.
There has also been concern about Albertville's business climate, and that new business has been hard to come by, Klecker said.
"But who isn't finding that out?" he asked. "Look at Rogers."
Albertville City Attorney Mike Couri said the issue is a matter of personnel, and could result in a closed meeting if the grounds for action comes from a disciplinary standpoint. If the issue is performance-based, it's up to the employee whether personnel matters are discussed in an open meeting format or not.
In either case, Couri said, any final action, such as a suspension or dismissal, would have to be held by the council in an open format.
Sorensen said he expects the issue to be discussed openly at the council meeting Monday night, which is set for 7 p.m. at Albertville City Hall.
* Correction: This story has been corrected and updated to show the closed door meeting between Mayor Mark Meehan and City Administrator Larry Kruse was held Monday, April 9. St. Michael Patch regrets the error.