Several City Hall officials told jobs will end; Moore denies rumors about replacements

City Engineer Jeff Steinkamp
Posted: Apr. 22, 2013 7:13 pm Updated: May. 6, 2013 7:15 pm
Mayor John Spring, left, and Corporation Counsel Andrew Staff talk with Comptroller Ann Scott during Monday's City Council meeting. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)

Herald-Whig Senior Writer

Three Quincy City Hall department heads received notice Monday that their services will not be needed when Mayor-elect Kyle Moore takes office in two weeks.

Comptroller Ann Scott, City Engineer Jeff Steinkamp and Corporation Counsel Andrew Staff were notified Monday that their jobs will end when Moore takes office May 6.

In addition, Jona Holtschlag, administrative assistant for Mayors John Spring and Chuck Scholz, said she will retire after 26 years with the city. Moore said Holtschlag already had put in her retirement notice before he talked to her.

Moore said the notices are the first step in assembling his City Hall team. He said he did not want to retain Scott or Steinkamp while replacements are being sought.

"I don't think anybody should work under a cloud that we're going to replace you in two months. That's not productive. We want people productive from day one. And so I think to me, it's beneficial to start from day one and just let people know we are going to be making a change," Moore said.

"And it's fair for their families. You know people have to support their families and to let them know they should be looking for other opportunities."

Click here to listen to an interview of Moore about changes to come at City Hall.

Moore said immediately after he defeated Spring on April 9 that he didn't anticipate wholesale changes, even though Republicans will find themselves in possession of the mayor's office for the first time in 28 years.

Moore denied reports that three Quincy men already have been tabbed as his choices for comptroller, city engineer and director of purchasing.

"So (these are) not decisions that I made with somebody in mind that, uh, are they going to be replacing these people," Moore said.

Moore and Lonnie Dunn, a local attorney who worked for the Republican's mayoral campaign and is said to be in line for the job of corporation counsel, reportedly met with several employees Monday to issue termination letters.

The city will have to pay out unused vacation and sick time for any employees let go, as well as unemployment costs. The Republican-controlled City Council has asked department heads to rein in costs the past two years.

Scott said she was told by Moore on Monday that her services would no longer be needed. She has served as comptroller since 2000. She also has been director of purchasing since that position was eliminated in 2009 when Dave Hummel took advantage of an early retirement incentive.

If Moore decides to hire a second person to carry out those responsibilities, the city will have to come up with extra money to pay a purchasing director. Hummel's salary was $75,076 in his final year.

Scott's annual salary is $88,369. She declined comment on her notice of termination.

Moore said Sheri Ray of the comptroller's office will be the interim comptroller while a replacement is sought.

Steinkamp has been city engineer since July 2003. He also has been interim manager of Quincy Regional Airport for the past 15 months. He previously spent two years as interim director of Central Services. Steinkamp's annual salary is $93,969, with a quarterly stipend of $1,400 for serving as interim airport director.

"I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Quincy for the past nearly 10 years through the Engineering, Airport and Central Services departments, and I wish the new administration the best of success," Steinkamp said.

Staff said he expected he would not be retained as corporation counsel.

"I was given a letter today saying there is the likelihood that you will not be reappointed, which is of course no surprise. The new mayor is entitled to bring in his own administration," Staff said.

Staff was assistant corporation counsel under Chuck Scholz and became corporation counsel under Spring, his father-in-law. Staff's salary is $74,500.

Chris Scholz previously was corporation counsel for Chuck Scholz, his brother.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Assistant Corporation Counsel Chris Scholz has not been told that his services won't be needed. An earlier version of this story incorrectly indicated that he had.