LEXINGTON, Mo. — Lexington Mayor Fred Wiedner announced Tuesday night that he’s resigning from his position immediately.
“The recent hatred, attacks and outright lies that have been hurled my direction on Facebook by some citizens of this community are absolutely disgusting,” Wiedner said in the first sentence of his resignation letter.
While he went on to say that he doesn’t believe these attacks represent the majority of his community, he added that it is no longer worth the battle.
As promised in the letter, a for sale sign was placed in front of his home Wednesday.
First Ward Councilman Steve Terry said as the Missouri River rose this month, threatening the city’s water plant, Lexington banded together — all under the coordination of the mayor on social media.
“I was actually down there throwing sandbags, and I appreciated the fact he took time to put videos out keeping people informed,” Eric Shroyer said.
But there was one personnel matter people took issue with.
City Administrator Joe Aull was fired by a City Council vote in February. According to Councilwoman Donna Sims, the firing was recorded as “without cause.”
Terry was one of three people who successfully launched write-in campaigns for council in the wake of that firing.
“We didn’t feel like the way it was handled was done the most professional way,” Terry said.
In his letter, Wiedner said he “didn’t realize how mean people could be.”
FOX4 found comments in a Lexington community group calling for a recall of the mayor. The Facebook group’s moderator said in a post Wednesday he tried to keep the discussion respectable, though some attacks had been deleted.
“I think it’s too bad that they do it to public officials. If I have something to say I’m going to say it to you, I’m going to look you right in the eye and say it. And if I can’t do that, I ought not to say it,” Shirley Guevel said.
Now, Lexington is without a mayor or a city administrator after already voting down one candidate for the job.
“I really think we’ve lost two good people, and I think we are going to suffer for it,” Guevel said.
Terry is hoping the city will pull together like they did earlier this month, now facing a flood of negativity.
“We realize this has caused some dissension. We need to move past that. We need to move forward and upwards for Lexington,” Terry said.
Wiedner added that he and his wife made the decision to move away from Lexington several weeks ago. They will move to another state where he accepted a job.
Mayor Pro Tem Scott Lynn will preside over meetings until the November election.