Kronenwetter administrator takes job in Altoona; severance package rescinded 

Richard Downey, on administrative leave from his post as village administrator.

Kronenwetter’s administrator has taken a job in Altoona, while he’s still on leave from the village. And now it looks like a severance package the village was working on for Downey has been rescinded. 

Richard Downey was placed on leave earlier this month for reasons that haven’t been disclosed. An interim administrator, Duane Gau, has been appointed by the board. Kronenwetter changed its meetings structure, according to Gau as part of his contract negotiations. That may be a violation of open meetings laws since it wasn’t specifically noticed as part of a meeting agenda, giving the public a reasonable amount of time to know a decision was coming. Residents on social media sites such as Facebook and Nextdoor are decrying the move. 

According to the city of Altoona’s website, Downey is listed as the assistant administrator for the city. Downey is the latest of a number of employees to flee the village — the village lost 12 senior staff in a two-year time frame, a City Pages investigation shows. The village has gone through two community development directors in less than a year, and is on its third village clerk this year already. 

The village board Monday night voted to rescind a planned severance package for Downey, interim administrator Duane Gau confirmed. Downey remains on leave from the village.  Asked what will happen next, Gau said “what happens next [is] unknown to me.”