by Alan McArthur
Platte City's search for a new administrator hit a snag on Monday when the top candidate turned down an offer from the board of aldermen.
The job was offered to the current city administrator of David City, Neb., a town with a population of around 2,600.
Platte City officials had made the offer to Joseph Johnson on Friday after a closed meeting of the board. On Monday morning, the city learned that Johnson had refused the city's offer. Sources said the issue of rate of pay was the reason.
Sources said the city had offered to pay Johnson in the neighborhood of $75,000 per year with a car allowance included in that amount. Johnson currently makes around $65,000 as the city administrator for David City.
Frank Offutt, Platte City mayor, said the city is still working to hire a new administrator before the end of July when current city administrator Keith Moody's contract ends.
“We are still in the negotiation stage,” said Offutt. “The city is making every effort to fill the position.”
City officials had interviewed Johnson and two other candidates recently. Johnson was offered the position Friday evening and was allowed the weekend to mull it over. He called about 9 a.m. Monday to say he was declining the offer.
The board will have another executive session on Monday, June 16 at 5:30 p.m. to begin reviewing some other resumes submitted.
The Saunders Group, a consulting firm, had originally presented around nine individuals to the board for consideration and the board chose to interview three. Out of the three, Johnson was chosen as the best candidate.
The price for consulting services offered by Saunders will not increase because of the extra time involved in finding a new administrator. The city hired Saunders in March at a price of $11,000 to provide the board with several resumes.
The board originally voted to fire Moody in January, but allowed him to continue working until the end of July or 30 days after a replacement was hired, whichever comes first.
Johnson did not want to comment about the situation when reached by The Landmark.
“I will not make a comment. I will leave it up to the elected officials of Platte City to make a contact,” Johnson told The Landmark on Tuesday.