UPDATE: Council accepts Matthes' resignation, taps Glascock as interim manager

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council unanimously voted to authorize a mutual severance package between the city and former City Manager Mike Matthes.

Matthes will receive just short of $180,000 in severance pay, which is equivalent to his annual salary plus his accrued vacation time. That figure was approved by the city council in 2012 as part of Matthes' contract with the city

The council also unanimously voted to make John Glascock the interim city manager. Glascock had been filling in as acting city manager following Matthes' resignation.

Mayor Brian Treece announced publicly for the first time that the city council asked for Matthes' resignation.

"I can tell you at Monday's closed city council meeting, the city council reached unanimous consensus that it was in the best interest of the city to move forward with a different city manager and ask for his resignation," Treece said.

He said Matthes had "lost confidence of the city council." 

Council member Ian Thomas said, "I concluded based on several readings of the plan or report on community policing, that we were not going to make further progress towards an authentic community oriented policing program under the existing city manager."

Council member Karl Skala said the community policing issue was not the only problem with Matthes.

"I have said on a number of occasions, in public and otherwise, that the city manager for some period of time, for the last year, has had my vote of confidence, but that confidence is starting to diminish," he said.

Following the vote, the city council turned its focus to establishing a timeline for appointing a new city manager. The council said it will begin exploring options for a search firm and will consider those options on Dec. 17.

Council member Matt Pitzer said he is looking for better management from the next person to hold the position.

"I want to see somebody with strong management experience leading an organization with many different service lines," he said.

The council said it hopes to begin exploring candidates in January of next year.