Wednesday, June 02, 1999

Rolfes out as Florence coordinator

Resignation takes effect July 1

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FLORENCE — After eight years as Florence city coordinator, Roger Rolfes is leaving his position.

        Florence Mayor Diane Ewing Whalen and Mr. Rolfes reached a mutual agreement for his resignation effective July 1, according to a statement released by the city.

        “It's more of an issue of mutual fit rather than performance,” Ms. Whalen said. “Roger has dedicated many years of his life to the city. I don't want to take away from him what he's given ...

        “It's really important that the fit be right because this is the full-time administrator of the city.”

        From 1982-1991, Mr. Rolfes was the mayor of Florence.

        According to his employment contract, the city agreed to pay Mr. Rolfes a lump sum cash payment of six months' salary and full payment of all accrued, unused vacation days for termination without cause.

        Mr. Rolfes' salary is $67,631.

        “I'd rather leave it at that statement,” Mr. Rolfes said, although he did say he plans to pursue other opportunities in government in Northern Kentucky. “I'm looking for nothing more specific than that yet,” he said.

        Jeff Koenig, Florence public services director, will step into the coordinator position. Mr. Koenig has been with the city for nine years and has served as public services director since 1994.

        “I feel like Jeff Koenig is a better fit with me and the direction I'd like to see the city go,” Ms. Whalen said. “He's very qualified. It's an opportunity to refocus.”

        Mr. Koenig said he's excited about the new position.

        “The game plan is to sit down with all the department heads, evaluate what's going on and make improvements when necessary,” he said. “There'll be a little learning time, of course.

        “The organization is in great shape, but there's always room for improvement and that's the way we look at it.”

        Former Florence Mayor Evelyn Kalb said she worked well with Mr. Rolfes, but that Ms. Whalen must define her own office.

        “A new mayor coming in has to put his or her stamp on the office,” she said. “The mayor in Florence has to depend entirely upon the city coordinator to run the city. If that relationship doesn't mesh, there has to be changes.”


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