Buck Eagle, Mike Ryan clarify comments about administrator's training

Staff Writer
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Mineral Daily News-Tribune

By Liz Beavers


Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER - Former city administrator Buck Eagle addressed a comment made during the Aug. 12 Keyser City Council meeting in regard to his departure from the city in 2019.

During the Aug. 12 meeting, when the council failed to approve mayor Damon Tillman’s reappointment of Amanda Brafford to the city administrator position, council member Mike Ryan had made the comment that Brafford “hadn’t been here a year yet,” and that Eagle was supposed to train her but “left as soon as she got the job.”

Eagle said Wednesday, however, that wasn’t exactly accurate, and Ryan said it wasn’t what he meant.

“I wanted to ensure a smooth transition,” Eagle said. “The arrangement I had with Amanda was when she felt comfortable (with the job), she would let me know. I was available and did do training.”

Ryan said, however, he thought Eagle “felt he was being pushed out the door” due to the speed with which Brafford was hired.

When Eagle was appointed to the position by Tillman soon after Tillman took office in 2018, it was with the understanding that Eagle would help the city get back on its feet after the resignation of then-city administrator Randy Amtower, and that his position with the city would only be temporary.

After he had been in the position for while, he told the mayor and council he would like to formulate “an exit strategy” for when he was ready to leave and turn the duties over to a new administrator.

“The exit policy was not followed though,” Ryan said Wednesday. “There was no timetable set.”

Before the exit policy could be put into practice, Tillman appointed Brafford and the council approved her.

“I think you got the impression, Mayor, that I was done and that’s when you came up with the nomination,” Eagle told Tillman.

Eagle said he worked with Brafford on an hourly basis, and even worked approximately two weeks without taking any pay from the city.

Tillman apologized for the misunderstanding.

“If you felt you were being pushed out, I apologize,” he said.

Although the appointment was on the agenda for Wednesday’s meeting, Tillman did not appoint anyone for the now empty position. Rather, he suggested the council advertise for applications.

They are also planning to discuss the position and any changes they might feel is necessary during an upcoming work session.