Ryan Hunt is no longer the city administrator of Grain Valley.
The Board of Aldermen voted to fire Hunt last Thursday, during a specially called meeting that went straight to a closed session. Meeting records show the vote was 5-1. Aldernen Jayci Stratton, Tom Cleaver, Nancy Totton, Yolanda West and Bob Headley voted for termination; Shea Bass voted no.
Hunt had requested leave from Sept. 29 to Nov. 4, which the board unanimously approved during an Oct. 3 closed session, records show. The exact nature of Hunt's departure remains unknown. Mayor Mike Todd would not elaborate, saying it was a personnel matter.
“We appreciate all that Ryan did for the city of Grain Valley, and he was a very important piece in all improvements to the I-70 interchange,” Todd said. “We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Ken Murphy, who had been deputy city administrator, is the acting administrator. Theresa Osenbaugh continues as assistant city administrator. Todd said the board likely will not look seriously at long-term replacement options until the calendar turns to 2020.
The move comes as the city continues to develop around the Interstate 70 interchange and is deep into plans for a new municipal building complex at the former Sni-A-Bar Farm, including a possible bond issue put to the voters next April.
“We have a very capable staff, including Ken and Theresa,” Todd said, “and our finance administrator (Steve Craig) has been a city administrator before.”
On his LinkedIn social media page, Hunt lists himself as “working hard at revising my career strategy.”
Hunt became assistant city administrator in 2012 and was named interim administrator in the fall of 2014 after Alexa Barton left the city (she has now been city administrator in Belton for two years). In March 2015, the Board of Aldermen voted to remove the interim title. Hunt had worked for the city since 2009, starting as the utility billing supervisor and then director of community development.
Prior to that, he had worked in public works and then as a police officer in Blue Springs, then worked in public works and administration in Greenwood before going to Grain Valley.