Daily dose: Champaign's first city manager resigned 50 years ago today

Daily dose: Champaign's first city manager resigned 50 years ago today

Local history

In 1912, eight men were arrested late Saturday night in the Bonner room of the Imperial Club, 20-22 N. Walnut St., Champaign, by Chief of Police Keller and Officer Cochrane. Poker chips, cards and a sum of money were gathered up in a basket by officers and taken to the police station with the eight men.


In 1962, Robert H. Oldland, who was hired in 1958 as Champaign’s first city manager, has resigned and will leave Aug. 28 to accept a similar position in Anchorage, Ala., at a salary of $22,000 a year. Oldland is paid $16,000 annually in Champaign. Mayor Emmerson Dexter said there was no thought of trying to meet the salary of the Alaskan city. Dexter said that Public Works Director John T. Kearns will become the acting city manager. Oldland submitted his resignation in the cold, businesslike manner that has characterized his handling of city affairs.

From the 7/28/62 News-Gazette:

"Oldland, who came here in 1958 as Champaign's first city manager, resigned in March of last year but the city council persuaded him to stay on the job with a pay raise that brought him up to $16,000 a year. His salary was raised from $12,000 to $16,000 over the four years he has been here.

"Dexter said there was no thought of trying to meet the Alaska salary.

"Dexter said council members had no advance notice of the resignation, but he said none of them were surprised.

"'We've had the feeling that he was looking for another job,' the mayor said.

"Oldland submitted his resignation in the cold, businesslike manner that has characterized his handling of city affairs.

"He transacted city business Friday with no hint that he soon would be leaving.

"Shortly before 5 p.m. he delivered to Mayor Dexter a letter which began, "Submitted herein is my resignation from the position of city manager of the city of Champaign ... I plan to terminate my working period as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 28, 1962.'"

Mr. Oldland died in 1997 at the age of 73.
 

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