Story by Jason Wert, Branson Tri-Lakes News
The changes at Branson City Hall promised by Branson Mayor Larry Milton have begun with the imminent departure of the city’s top two administrators.
The Branson Board of Aldermen voted in a closed session Tuesday, April 19, to place City Administrator Stan Dobbins on administrative leave as of April 20, 2022, at 12:01 a.m. He will stay on administrative leave through his “anticipated retirement date” of April 30, 2022.
The vote by the Board of Aldermen was unanimous.
“As I recently shared, you would see staff changes at City Hall,” Mayor Larry Milton said in a press statement. “It remains your Board’s intent that you have a city government that serves YOU, the people of Branson.”
The vote is the second time in the last six months Dobbins’ employment had been put up for debate in a closed session of the Board. On Oct. 26, 2021, Mayor Milton moved in a closed session to have Dobbins removed as city administrator, and the board voted 4-2 to retain Dobbins. Current aldermen Clay Cooper and Ruth Denham voted to remove Dobbins in that vote; Cody Fenton voted to retain him.
City Clerk Lisa Westfall has been named acting city administrator and she will be given the opportunity to apply for the position on a permanent basis should she meet all qualifications. She will also continue her duties as City Clerk.
“I’m just working to help keep the city moving forward in a positive direction,” Westfall told Branson Tri-Lakes News.
Assistant City Administrator John Manning tendered his resignation on Tuesday, April 12, the same day as the regular scheduled meeting of the Board of Aldermen, which included the swearing-in of three new members. His resignation is effective at the end of the business day Friday, April 22.
Branson Tri-Lakes News reached out to Dobbins and Manning for comment. Dobbins declined to comment at this time, and Manning did not reply to our inquiry.
This is an evolving story and the Branson Tri-Lakes News will update as more information is released.