Apr 4, 2023 | By: Mary Balstad

Bemidji City Council Votes to Remove City Manager, Cites Lack of Confidence

After months of speculation and a five-hour meeting behind closed doors last week, the Bemidji City Council announced their decision regarding city manager Nate Mathews – to remove him from his position.

Following a surprise last-minute agenda addition in January by Councilor At-Large Audrey Thayer, many in the public have wondered why Mathews is under the magnifying glass and what the results of the non-annual evaluation will be.

Following Minnesota’s Open Meeting Law, the council provided a Summary of Conclusion of the previous closed session during Monday night’s meeting. The full council chamber heard the results in a motion made by Councilor Thayer to add an item regarding the removal of the city manager.

With this outcome, the decision came down to what the council cited as a loss of confidence in Mathews. The motion to remove Mathews passed in a 4-2 vote, with Councilors Emelie Rivera and Lynn Eaton in the minority.

“City council members have lost confidence and lack trust in the City Manager Nate Mathews’ ability and willingness to complete and effectively be the chief administrative officer of the city, be responsible for the administration of city affairs, and move the city forward,” read Thayer from a statement given at the meeting.

The council designated Mathews’ duties to the city clerk. Mathews will be suspended until his removal on May 2, 2023.

Watch the full statement as read by Councilor Thayer during the meeting in the video below:

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