SUNBURY — City Administrator Jody Ocker is leaving her position, announcing her intent in a near 10-minute speech during Monday night's city council meeting.
Ocker told councilmembers she is not a "kid" or a "dear" and told them she would be leaving her position as of Jan.13.
Ocker, who has been employed with the city for nearly two years, surprised council members by informing them she was "not the girl you hired for the front office to just do whatever I'm told."
"I don’t appreciate being undermined, or shouted at in person, or ranted about behind my back," Ocker told the board. "One councilman claims to not be a micromanager yet micromanages what I’m doing by finding fault and making judgments without speaking to me directly giving me a chance to explain or correct if necessary. Another simply ghosts me if ever there is a difference of opinion or conflict or just anything to be avoided. This is poor behavior in any organization, unbecoming to anyone in a leadership position and counterproductive operationally."
Ocker did not give out names of councilmembers but said her work environment was "not a good fit."
"I indicated that I would stay in the position as long as I felt was a good fit for myself and the council," she said. "Being a good fit would mean that my approach and my ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the position fit well with the council’s intent, goals, and expectations for the position. In light of my experience over the past 20 months, it is my conclusion that the fit is not good."
Ocker told council to start looking for her replacement.
Ocker said she would remain in the job until the end of the year and would help her replacement.
"The municipal organization itself was stove-piped with each department acting independently under the department head," Ocker said. "I observed a lack of cooperation/collaboration across departments, antiquated management styles, lack of leadership, personal grudges, low productivity and very little data to drive sound decisions. To continue in the old ways of 'how we have always done it for five decades' will result in wasted money and resources across the board. If the councilmen are serious in their commitment to be good stewards of taxpayer money, much change is needed."
Councilmen Josh Brosious, Jim Eister and Ric Reichner all said they wished Ocker luck in her future endeavors.
Councilman Chris Reis thanked Ocker for her services.
"I believe we as a city have made great progress in the last year and a half," Reis said. "But I have also played middle man on several occasions as personalities differentiated and thoughts of what the role of the position is has differed among councilmen. I thank Jody (Ocker) for her continued commitment to the city and I urge my fellow councilmembers to come together to have a plan in place for whoever the new administrator is."
Mayor Kurt Karlovich said he will be discussing the position with council.