By Pamela Rensing
MASCOUTAH – City Manager Cody Hawkins submitted his resignation during executive session following the regular City Council meeting on Monday, August 6. There was no indication during the regular meeting that he was going to resign.
The letter from Hawkins presented to Mayor Jerry Daugherty and councilmen read:
“Please accept this letter as my official notice that I hereby resign my duties as City Manager effective August 7, 2018.
“This is with great pain and heartache. My staff has been great and very supportive, and the City is in good hands. I hope I did something to make Mascoutah a good place to work, live, and play.”
With this resignation, Hawkins walks away from a salary of $101,911.00, health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance, and payment into the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. Along with sick leave, the City Manager position receives 20 days of vacation per year, and a monthly vehicle allowance of $450 a year. Had he been terminated by the Council for any reason, he would have been entitled to six months salary as severance pay. This is not the case.
“It was sad and a shocker,” stated Daugherty. “I’ve worked with Cody through thick and thin. He was a good City Manager during his time here. He streamlined some processes, and worked out some relationships with people we deal with regularly. He was great at handling citizens’ complaints and always on top of things.
“I’m sorry to see him go. He was a great guy for the City. I wish him well on all his future endeavors.”
Daugherty said the council will hold a special meeting on Thursday, August 9, at 6 p.m. to discuss their next steps.
Mascoutah Police Chief Scott Waldrup said it had been a pleasure working with Hawkins. “It was a surprise to all of us. The City will suffer from the loss of his leadership and management. He’s been a great boss to work for. We will miss him.”
“I was shocked and surprised by the sudden resignation of our City Manager,” stated councilman Mike Baker. “But I do wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Councilman Paul Schorr echoed Baker’s sentiments. “I was saddened and shocked.”
“I was saddened, but not surprised, by Cody’s resignation as City Manager,” stated councilman Pat McMahan. “I wish he and his family the very best going forward.”
“I didn’t expect it. I thought he was doing a good job,” said councilman Jack Weyant. “I don’t have any ill feelings regarding Cody. He did good job for the City. Maybe some things didn’t work out the way he wanted, but that happens. I wish him well from where he goes from here.”
One issue darkened Hawkins’s time with the City. In May 2017, Hawkins faced disciplinary actions from the council due to a DUI charge.
On Thursday, May 18, 2017 in Sangamon County, IL, he was charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) by Illinois State Police.
Hawkins was pulled over by ISP for Improper Traffic Lane Usage. ISP also charged him with having an expired registration and transportation of alcohol.
The City suspended him for thirty (30) work days without pay. Assistant City Manager Mike Bolt handled day-to-day operations at that time.
Hawkins returned to work on July 17, 2017 after signing a “Last Chance Agreement” with the City. Among other restrictions, he was subjected to a breath test every work day for six months, and was subject to random breath tests for the duration of the agreement which terminated on July 17, 2018.