by Alan McArthur
The Parkville Board of Aldermen moved another step closer to finding a new city administrator on Monday night by creating a profile of the city and a profile of the candidate sought for the position.
The board is searching for a replacement for Joe Turner who resigned in April to head to Fort Scott, Kan. to be city administrator. The board also hired Organization Consultants with Bob Saunders to assist the city in finding a new administrator.
On Monday, Saunders, of Liberty, went through the profiles with the aldermen to help him narrow the field of applicants for the position.
In a previous survey, members of the board attempted to describe Parkville in terms of what they like and what they dislike.
The board listed things they are proud of in Parkville as: the quality of life, the park-like look of the town, friendly and involved citizens, quality education opportunities, and the competence of city staff.
Some of the items disappointing the board are: the discipline at city hall, the division in the city based on where people live, high water and sewer rates, police officers who are not friendly, and the city being against change and newcomers.
The board also listed their personal goals for the city as: improving the city's financial and personnel administration, creating “quiet zones” downtown, implementing city-wide trash and recycling, sustaining the high satisfaction of residents, creating a vision for the I-435 corridor, partnering with the county for a new park along the river, and widening 45 Highway from I-435 to K Highway.
The board also listed the qualities they would like to have in a candidate.
The board's profile describes a candidate with at least a bachelor's degree in public administration, around five years of experience in a similar size city, and experience in a position similar to city administrator.
According to board members, they are also looking for someone who is bold, managerial, competent, professional, articulate, confident, and open-minded.
One topic of discussion was the pay to offer a new city administrator. Turner had a salary of more than $85,000 and also had benefits. The new city administrator in Platte City will have a salary of $75,000.
Saunders recommended Parkville increase the salary offered by an additional $10,000 over what Turner was earning in order to attract more applicants.
“I think you'll be at the low end of the market now,” said Saunders. “It's doesn't pay to stay under market.”
According to Saunders, the average tenure of a city administrator is now seven years because it costs so much to move and find a replacement.
Saunders gave an example to the board of Keith Moody, who stayed with Platte City as city administrator for 13 years.
The next step for the board is Saunders will return a profile from the meeting within a week. A week after the application period closes at the end of August, Saunders will meet with the board in closed session to discuss the applicants and narrow the field to five candidates.
The board will conduct interviews with the five candidates and hire a new city administrator within a week or so afterward.