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Oak Creek council fires city administrator

Jan. 26, 2010

Oak Creek — Pat DeGrave, the city administrator for the past four years, was fired Monday night following a closed-session discussion by the Common Council.

The council voted 6-0 after returning to an open session not to renew DeGrave's annual labor agreement, Mayor Dick Bolender said Tuesday.

Bolender, who did not have a vote, informed DeGrave, who was in his office.

"They basically felt that they wanted to go in a different direction and that's it," Bolender said of the aldermen. "It was shocking, but they did have some things that were brought up that were important to the council so that's the direction they took."

Bolender, who participated in the closed-session discussion, said aldermen "had a basis" for the decision, but he wouldn't be more specific. He said the city would begin advertising soon to fill the city administrator's position.

DeGrave, who earned $108,442, said his previous performance reviews had been routine and his firing was unexpected. He said he didn't know what aldermen might be referring to in saying they want to go in another direction.

Last week, aldermen approved in concept a $40.5 million capital plan that envisions using taxes paid by the We Energies plant expansion to replace City Hall, the library and two fire stations, plus reconstruct two major roads.

DeGrave's predecessor worked for the city less than a year, and the administrator before that worked for Oak Creek for 14 years.

DeGrave, 52, previously was the village administrator for Slinger in Washington County. Before that he was administrator of the Town of Menasha and town administrator for Mount Pleasant in Racine County before Mount Pleasant became a village.

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