The Delaware County commissioners on April 26 voted 2-1 to fire county administrator Dave Cannon.

The Delaware County commissioners on April 26 voted 2-1 to fire county administrator Dave Cannon.

Commissioner Ken O'Brien cast the dissenting vote.

Cannon's dismissal took effect the same day.

Cannon, who has served as county administrator since Dec. 14, 1998, refused to comment after the meeting.

Commission president Tommy Thompson introduced the resolution to terminate Cannon. Thompson refused to discuss details, saying, "Personnel issues are sensitive issues and not something you want to drag down the street."

Commissioner Todd Hanks did not comment on the resolution during the meeting.

County prosecutor Dave Yost said the commissioners need to be "cautious" about discussing in public personnel issues that originally were talked about in executive session.

The county administrator serves at the will of the commissioners and "can be terminated at will for any reason you (the commissioners) term appropriate or for no reason at all," said assistant county prosecutor Aric Hochstettler, who serves as counsel to the board.

The board met with Cannon in executive session to go over his latest evaluation two weeks ago.

Cannon on April 26 asked Thompson to elaborate on what reasons led him to bring the resolution before the board.

"You were sitting in executive session to hear what was said," Thompson answered.

O'Brien said he didn't recall sensitive issues being discussed and that Cannon has been nothing but "supportive of Delaware County."

"For persons who think that I haven't tried to make this work, that is wrong," Thompson said. "This has taken a lot of heart, time and consideration."

Before the commissioners voted to dismiss Cannon, they heard two elected officials speak on his behalf.

Treasurer Jon Peterson said under Cannon's leadership, the county has achieved a high bond rating and passed a budget in trying economic times without laying people off, Peterson said.

"You reward this with his termination. Unbelievable. I am asking the board to slow down" and talk to those who work with Cannon on a daily basis before making a decision, Peterson said.

He accused Thompson of trying to push the termination resolution through by bringing it up under other business.

Thompson said he gave the resolution to Cannon by 1 p.m. on April 23 and the county administrator chose not to put it on the commissioners' agenda.

O'Brien said it came in too late to be placed on the agenda. After the meeting, however, Thompson said a previous resolution by O'Brien that would have guaranteed Cannon a job through this year also came in on a Friday, yet made it on the agenda.

County auditor George Kaitsa said he doesn't "know what the underlying issues are. ... From my own standpoint, Mr. Cannon has been very professional with excellent communications and service to the citizens of Delaware County."

"I understand your concerns," Thompson said. "In his 10-plus years he's done some good things for Delaware County. But I'm also looking at the future of Delaware County and our employees and I do believe this is the appropriate direction to go in."

Berlin Township trustee Phil Panzarella was at the meeting for another issue and said he was speaking as a county resident when he asked the board to have a succession plan in place before voting.

The resolution makes Thompson acting county administrator until a search finds a successor for Cannon.

"I don't feel I am qualified" to run the administrator's office, Thompson said, and said he plans to appoint someone to the position on an interim basis until the search is done.