Fair board votes to dismiss manager

A longtime St. Joseph County Grange Fair employee was let go this week.

Missi Tefft, fair manager, was dismissed following a 7-to-5 vote at Monday’s monthly meeting. It came following an executive session that lasted more than two hours and on a motion made by board member Tony Hochstetler, seconded by Gary Clark.

Afterward, Hochstetler said he simply didn’t think Tefft was the right person for the job, he said he didn’t feel she was getting the job done and it was time for a change.

Tefft, a 54-year-old Nottawa resident, was promoted to manager in May 2021. The role was served by committee for the 2019 fair after longtime manager Bill Johnson was dismissed in October 2018.

Her annual salary was about $50,000.

Hochstetler said the board will have to begin the process of securing a new manager. The 2023 fair isn’t until September but in the meantime, winter storage starts next week and that in itself requires an inordinate amount of coordination and organization that will be a challenge without Tefft’s presence.

The fair office is closed and without office staff for the moment, as a part-time employee quit upon learning of Tefft’s fate.

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