Resignation of city administrator, mayor means shakeup in Solon

Mayor resigned to be eligible for interim city administrator position

Published: March 28 2014 | 11:22 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 10:16 am in

SOLON — Resignations by the city administrator and mayor in Solon on Thursday has set the stage for a leadership shake up in the community of 2,200 people 10 miles north of Iowa City.

City Administrator Cassandra Lippincott, who has held the position since 2005, accepted a staff position with the City of Wildwood, Fla. It's set off a ripple effect that encircled the mayor and city council in Solon.

However, there's little drama surrounding this merry-go-round.

"That's what we are so fortunate about here in Solon," said Lippincott, who's last day will be April 18. "We just don't have that. Everyone works together here."

City Council accepted Lippincott's resignation, which she submitted on March 19, during a special meeting on Thursday evening.

Two council members urged Mayor Cami Jo Rasmussen, who has a 16-year history with Solon's government, to apply for interim city administrator, Lippincott said.

The City Council approved Rasmussen for the interim role during the meeting on Thursday, and at the same meeting she submitted her resignation as mayor, Lippincott said.

Rasmussen served as Solon city clerk beginning in 1998, was elected to City Council in 2005 and elected mayor in 2011.

"It says a lot for Cami to give up her mayor's position, which she loves, Lippincott said. "It really is a service to the community."

Lippincott said the City Council wanted someone familiar with the city and its finances as a $1 million project for a new city hall wraps up.

Rasmussen was approved for a 30-day contract at $35.56 an hour, Lippincott said. In the next month, the city will look to hire someone for a one-year interim city administrator position.

Rasmussen is expected to apply for that role, Lippincott said, but she has not indicated if she will seek the permanent position.

Council member Steve Stange, who holds the position of mayor pro tem, automatically assumes the interim mayor role, Lippincott said.

Barring a petition demanding a special election, City Council can appoint a new mayor, Lippincott said. If a sitting council member is appointed mayor, which is a distinct possibility, the same rules would apply for filling the vacant city council seat, she said.

City Council member Ron Herdliska said prior to Thursday's meeting that he is not concerned about stability during the transition in Solon.

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