After a two hour closed session, the Hyattsville City Council unanimously approved a measure accepting the resignation of Hyattsville's City Administrator Jerry Schiro. He will now stay on the job for the next 60 days to assist the city as it begins the hunt for a new city administrator.
Schiro submitted his letter of resignation to city officials on Sept. 17, 2013, according to the measure.
During the meeting, city leaders and staff praised Schiro for the work he has done in his five months on the job.
"I am sorry I was not persuasive yesterday in our discussions," said Mayor Marc Tartaro to Schiro during discussion tonight.
"He's only been with us for five months," said Hyattsville police Det. Zachary Nemser, president of the Hyattsville Fraternal Order of Police, during public comment during the meeting. "In that five months, he's been able to transform the attitudes and working conditions in the city…what's happening tonight is devastating to me."
The Hyattsville City Council also passed a series of measures which formally extended Schiro's contract for 60 days, authorized a new search for a city administrator, authorized Schiro to hire contractors to complete the city's backlog of audits.
The city council took no action against Elaine Stookey, Hyattsville's city treasurer during last night's meeting, though her performance was discussed during the lengthly closed session according to members of the city council who spoke, in vague terms, on the condition of anonymity.
Stookey's performance has come under scrutiny by the city council as they only just recently learned that the city was three years behind schedule on submitting completed audits to the Maryland Department of Legislative Services, as required by law. The city risks losing state funding and, in a worst case scenario, also risk losing the city's charter, if the audits are not brought up to date with state authorities.
The audit backlog is among the factors which motivated Schiro to resign.
During the meeting, members of the Hyattsville City Council criticized Tartaro for failing to inform the city council earlier of the city's audit backlog.
Tartaro admitted that the city has been receiving notices from state authorities about the audit backlog for years. The notices were usually addressed to the mayor, the council president and the city treasurer.
But Tartaro bristled at the criticism of his handling of these notices and argued that he had always passed on the letters to the city administrators or other staff to deal with.