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Molzof resigns as city administrator
In Boscobel
Boscobel City Hall

BOSCOBEL - Misty Molzof, Boscobel’s city administrator since 2019, has announced her resignation. She submitted a letter of resignation to the city council in advance of its meeting on July 6. Molzof will remain in her position for 60 days and assist in the transition of duties when a new administrator is hired. Molzof previously served as Boscobel’s utility clerk from 2009 to 2016, before leaving to obtain a degree in public administration.

Molzof cited several reasons for quitting, but chief among them were a lack of work-life balance, and the growing negativity aimed at city hall since the pandemic began.

“It’s been tough because I love what I do. And I love the future vision for the city,” she said. “Unfortunately, times have changed. People have changed and it has really created a negative outlook on government from the top all the way to the bottom,” she said.

Molzof reached the decision on a week-long retreat, during which she unplugged her phone and took stock of her position, but she’d been contemplating the move for months, she said.

“I would say this process started in January, and when we had the election in February— with the recount, and all the political stuff locally at that time. There were a lot of changes here internally and then having to add all of that extra on top of it. I felt like that I was constantly defending the city. I love this community. I love the City of Boscobel. I’m just not sure that this is the right place for me to do that.”

A seat of power

Boscobel’s government is a “weak-mayor” system in which the mayor has little executive power. Instead, the council leans on the city administrator to both advise their direction and to carry out their decisions. As a result, the administrator is a key position of power in city hall. The administrator touches virtually every aspect of local governance: crafting budgets, wording ordinances, adjustments to zoning, and more.

“I don’t even know where to start describing her job,” said Boscobel Mayor Brenda Kalish. “She pretty much oversees just about everything. She’s at all the meetings, does all the agendas, she files for grants, she helps pursue new businesses.”

Kalish said Molzof’s resignation came as “a shock,” but she said she can empathize with her reasons for leaving. After 13 years of serving on the city council, she’s had a front row seat to changes in political discourse.

“It seems like since Covid, nobody is happy about anything, or they’re not happy if they don’t have something to bitch about, to put it plain and simple,” she said. “Misty takes the brunt of it, because everyone thinks she’s the one who needs to do something about it.”

Molzof’s long list of responsibilities came with a price: “Long weekends, long nights, long holidays,” Molzof said. “I’m stretched really thin. And where does my family fit into that? Unfortunately, I just haven’t been able to find that balance.” Molzof’s youngest son is 15.

40-hour week

Molzof is lining up job interviews, and said her current priority was a manageable schedule with plenty of family time involved.

She still hopes to make a difference in the public realm of service. “But I think my personality type is better suited for a position where I can help because I like to make it better. I like to be a problem solver. I like to fix it. I like to make people happy.”

You can’t make people happy all the time in city hall—but Molzof’s parting wish is that we collectively try to break the uglier dynamics of conflict that emerged during the pandemic. “We as a society need to remember—instead of just throwing out the problems  and complaining, maybe you should be a part of the solution. Helen Keller said it best,” said Molzof, pointing to a plaque perched at the base of her computer monitor. “’Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.’”