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Town manager termination overruled

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By Sean Kennedy

FREDERICK – Matt LeCerf remains the town manager in Frederick.

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The town’s board of trustees voted to remove him Aug. 29, but Town Attorney Rick Samson said the vote did not comply with Frederick’s municipal code, noting a section that requires four affirmative votes to terminate the town manager. The trustees had voted 3-2 in favor of removal, with trustee Dan March absent due to illness and Mayor Tony Carey only able to vote in the event of a tie. 

Mayor Pro-Tem Laura Brown made a motion to recognize this part of the code in the emergency meeting Aug. 30, and it passed 4-1. Trustees Tracie Crites, Sam DeSantis and Rusty O’Neal were in favor. Trustee Rocky Figurilli abstained, and trustee Dan March was not present to vote due to illness. None of the trustees responded to requests for comment. 

Frederick mayor Tony Carey expressed frustration with the original vote.
“Typically if you’re upset with your city manager, there’s a process,” Carey said, “You express your concerns, you set up a performance plan... it has to be a transparent process. You don’t just fire someone.”

Carey, who noted that he had not heard any concerns about LeCerf’s performance prior to the vote, decried the attempted removal as a waste of money.
     “I’m frustrated because one of the trustees involved in this was also one of the ones that tried unsuccessfully to get me recalled last year, and it wastes a lot of taxpayer money,” Carey said. “We’re (he and Samson) going to take steps to outline what is appropriate for mayor and trustee reports and maybe make some rules as to what is allowed during that part of the meeting.”

He also expressed doubt that LeCerf would stay in Frederick.
     “I’ve been friends with Matt for six, seven years and I doubt he’s going to come back... I mean, would you? I’m just speculating of course, but I wouldn’t.”

According to a press statement, the motion has to be ratified at the board’s next regular or special meeting when the full board is present. The board met Sept. 4 to vote on ratification of the motion, the results of which were not available by press time.