Middletown council prepares for final termination vote of city manager

Middletown could be looking for a new city manager beginning this week if the city council on Tuesday votes to terminate Doug Adkins, who has been suspended since Nov. 5.

Adkins, who served as city manager for more than five years, was suspended with pay following a preliminary resolution to commence termination proceedings.

Council is moving forward with the final termination after Adkins did not request a public hearing.

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Council unanimously approved the resolution stating its intent to terminate Adkins and suspended him with pay pending the final termination resolution. The Journal-News has left numerous messages with Adkins seeking comment on his future plans. As of Friday morning, none of those calls have been returned by Adkins.

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City officials has declined to comment on what the city offered Adkins in exchange for his resignation. The charter provides for three months of salary from the date of the preliminary resolution for a city manager being terminated. He will continue to receive his salary through Feb. 5.

Past councils have initiated the termination process, but those city managers eventually submitted their resignations before a final termination vote was held by council, according to city records. Adkins may be the first city manager to actually be terminated.

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In the Nov. 5 preliminary resolution, council said it was commencing the process as it “no longer desires to employ Douglas Adkins as City Manager because of irreconcilable differences between Council and Mr. Adkins concerning leadership style, and these differences make his continued work as City Manager untenable.”

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City officials said that a request for proposals was being prepared for the new city manager search. That process cannot start until Adkins is officially terminated by council or a separation agreement is negotiated, according to city officials. The selection process for a new city manager could take six to nine months, officials said.

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Adkins, 56,was hired in September 2005 as an assistant city prosecutor. He eventually was promoted to city prosecutor and community redevelopment director before becoming city manager on June 17, 2014. His current contract expires in July 2020, and his annual salary is $165,000.

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Much of the Middletown community was surprised about the pending termination of Adkins despite the many accomplishments that the city has seen in his tenure. Many of Adkins’ accomplishments as city manager were outlined in his plan when he applied and was eventually hired for the position in 2014.

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Middletown City Managers

1956 to 2019

Charlie Thompson, March 1956-March 1964

Dan Kothe, June 1964-September 1970

Dale Helsel, October 1970-May 1985

William Burns, October 1985-January 1988

William Klosterman, July 1988-August 1992

Ron Olsen, November 1992-November 2004

William Becker, March 2005-March 2007

Judith Gilleland, January 2008-July 2014

Doug Adkins July 2014-Nov. 5, 2019, suspended with pay pending termination proceedings

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