Village leader let go

By Gary Brode |, Anna Carrera

Published 03/04 2014 04:01PM

Updated 03/05 2014 11:40AM

Update: 10:04 pm, 3/4/14, Tuesday
RANTOUL -- Residents want know know why their village administrator was fired. Dozens showed up to the Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night to get an answer. WCIA-3's Gary Brode was there.

The meeting was standing room only. There were a lot of confused people. Some were angry. They were allowed three minutes to speak to trustees, and specifically, Mayor Charles Smith.

They made the most of their time. The concerns came fast-and-furious. But, the mayor didn't reveal much.

"There were internal and external reasons and moral issues were the primary issues."

The subject was the firing of village administrator Bruce Sandahl. Smith says he thought about this decision for a month. Sandahl had the job for more than five years, helping bring new development to town.

"There is just a lot of positive things that are going on right now that leaves a lot of people asking the question, 'Why would we make this kind of change at this point?'"

Smith says it made it tougher to let Sandahl go because of his success, but says it wasn't personal.

"There was a little bit of a transition friction with that. But, other than that, we seemed to work well on a day-to-day basis."

That explanation wasn't cutting it for this crowd.

"I want them to understand because I think some people go it in their mind that we are mean people and we are vindictive and that is not what we are trying to do."

Sandahl did not want to go on camera but did say he wasn't surprised he was let go. He says he's moved by the number of people who showed up to support him. He still plans to live in Rantoul.
Original: 4:00 pm, 3/4/14, Tuesday
RANTOUL -- A Champaign County village leader is out of a job. Tuesday, it was revealed the town's administrator was let go at the end of February.

Mayor Chuck Smith couldn't offer specifics stating it was a personnel matter. But, he says he made the decision at the beginning of the month with the knowledge of the village board.

As of now, Bruce Sandahl is no longer working with them. He started with the village in 2008. He had a five year contract with a one-year extension option, but that was terminated last month. Mayor Smith says they wish Sandahl the best, but they're moving on and looking for a replacement administrator.

There's going to be a public meeting Tuesday night at the village hall. Mayor Smith expects people from both sides to discuss the issue, but says the decision has already been made.

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