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Marengo won't renew contract for City Administrator Gary Boden

Boden was appointed in 2012, made $116,233

Marengo City Administrator Gary Boden.
Marengo City Administrator Gary Boden.

MARENGO – The city of Marengo won’t renew City Administrator Gary Boden’s contract, officials announced Friday.

Assistant City Administrator Joshua Blakemore will act as interim city manager. Blakemore has worked for the city of Marengo since 2005 and will continue to receive his $86,267 salary.

He has not been given a raise for taking over Boden’s duties, financial director Jennifer Snelten said.

Marengo’s new mayor, John Koziol, was sworn in the day Boden’s contract expired, and Koziol called an executive session that night to discuss both Boden’s employment and the employment of city attorney Carlos Arevalo.

Koziol said at the time that he wanted to get things with the city moving quickly.

He could not be reached for comment Friday.

Whether the town needs two administrators has been debated among council members in the past.

Boden was appointed in 2012 with a salary set at $104,000. In the past few years, his salary increased to $116,233.

Boden, a Rockford native, was the former city administrator of Clinton, Iowa. He also had served as city manager for the city of Whitewater, Wisconsin, and got his start as the assistant city manager for the city of DeKalb.

First Ward Alderman Mike Miller declined to comment on his opinion on the decision.

“It’s the mayor’s decision, I guess,” he said. “There was a lot of discussion on it [in executive session].”

Aldermen Brett Martin, Matt Keenum, Dennis Hammortree, Todd Hall, Michael Smith, Nicole DeBoer and Steven Mortensen could not be reached for comment Friday.

On Feb. 14, a grocery store employee accused the city administrator of “reeking of booze” when he struck the employee’s car in the parking lot of Sullivan’s. Boden was cleared of any wrongdoing after an investigation by the Marengo Police Department.

Marengo Police Sgt. Rodney Riley investigated the incident but did not have Boden take a blood-alcohol breath test, and Riley said that he didn’t notice signs of impairment. Boden said he had been at work five minutes before the incident. He added that he had been with people all day at the office and had been to lunch with the police chief, Riley and then-Mayor Don Lockhart that day. Boden later chalked up the entire incident to dirty politics.

DOCUMENTS: Marengo Police Department report.

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