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Farmington dismisses city planner

After 17 years with the city of Farmington, city planner Lee Smick has been fired.

Farmington city council members approved city administrator David McKnight’s recommendation to dismiss Smick during Monday’s city council meeting. The item was placed on the city’s consent agenda.

Smick was placed on administrative leave prior to her dismissal.

Farmington city code grants the city administrator the authority to make final recommendations to the city council regarding the hiring and firing of employees. In his memo to council, McKnight recommended Smick’s dismissal, effective Feb. 3.

As it was a personnel matter, McKnight declined comment on Smick’s dismissal.

In regards to replacing Smick, McKnight said he is working on a proposal to bring to the Farmington City Council and get their input. He did not say what the parameters of that proposal will be.

Smick came to the city of Farmington in 1997, replacing the retired Charlie Tooker. The city experienced major residential growth during Smick’s tenure. She worked with developers to plan when and where that growth happened. She was responsible to keep the city’s Comprehensive Plan updated, and to make sure that all land use requirements were being followed.

Her duties turned toward more economic development planning after the city of Farmington eliminated the community development director and economic development specialist positions as part of previous budget cycles.

As part of her role as city planner, Smick acted as the staff liaison to the planning commission and the economic development authority. Assistant planner Tony Wippler is now the staff liaison to the planning commission, and McKnight is the liaison to the EDA.

“I would just like to say that I really enjoyed working with the residents and the business owners of Farmington over all of these years,” Smick said.

Smick otherwise declined to comment on her dismissal.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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