Bola Akande Named Brentwood City Administrator
Akande fills the post left vacant by the sudden and unexplained resignation of Chris Seemayer on March 11.
Bola Akande, the current assistant city manager for the City of Richmond Heights, was named Brentwood's city administrator during a Board of Aldermen meeting on Monday night. She will start on August 1.
Akande, a Nigerian-born, naturalized US citizen, has worked in the public sector for 19 years, six of those in Richmond Heights, notes a city news release. Prior to that, she's worked as an assistant to the president of the Woodlands Community Service Corporation in Texas for six years and budget manager for the City of Flower Mound, TX, for two years.
Akande said she had dreamed of becoming a city administrator since her first job in the public sector.
"I've always been prepared for this," Akande said. "It was a fulfillment of a career goal."
Mayor Pat Kelly, who led the search to fill the vacant city administrator position, said Akande's resume—which is strong in budgeting and financing—made her stand out from the other 40 candidates who applied.
"I'm really excited. I think she's going to be a great addition to the city," he said.
Kelly said Akande's first task will likely be to prepare next year's $13 million operating budget for the city. The process normally starts in July, he said.
Akande holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Southwest Baptist University and a master's degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma, as noted on her LinkedIn account.
She is a member of the International City/County Management Association and is treasurer of the Saint Louis Area City Management Association, notes a city news release. In April, she was a finalist for a city manager position in Maricopa, AZ, reports InMaricopa.com.
The mayor and aldermen previously approved Akande's contract in a closed meeting on June 2, but she didn't want to go public immediately.
The appointment follows former city administrator Chris Seemayer's sudden and unexplained resignation on March 11 after 22 years with the city. Seemayer abruptly resigned after the Board of Aldermen was called to a special meeting to discuss personnel matters on March 10.
No notice was given to the public about this closed meeting because of an emergency, Kelly said. It's not clear whether officials discussed Seemayer's resignation or not.
City officials have declined to comment on the nature of this meeting, and the public is entitled to very little information under the Missouri Sunshine Law. Minutes taken from the meeting show the following details:
- All eight aldermen and the mayor were present.
- Three city staff members were present: interim city administrator Ellen Rottjakob, finance officer Karen Mosby and police chief Steve Disbennett.
- Chris Hesse, a labor attorney specializing in discrimination cases, was also present.
- The meeting lasted roughly 45 minutes.
Multiple calls to Seemayer's home have gone unreturned. City officials have declined to comment on his sudden resignation.
"All I can tell you right now: It's an employment matter, which I can't discuss," city attorney Frank Albrecht said.
The mayor led the city's search for a new city administrator throughout the past few months. About 40 applications were accepted for the city administrator job, and 13 of them were quality applicants, Kelly said. Negotiations with the new administrator took place for several weeks, he said.
Rottjakob, who worked as assistant city administrator and director of planning and development for the city, was appointed the interim city administrator after Seemayer's resignation. She will fill the role until Akande's first day.