City has administrator succession plan in place
DJ Gehrt, longtime city administrator for Platte City, won’t be on the job forever.
That much was made clear last fall, when it was announced Gehrt’s intention to retire at the end of June in 2023.
Though the switchover is still nearly a year away, the city now has a plan in place for their choice of Gehrt’s successor. It’s an in-house replacement. It will be Marji Gehr, the city’s finance officer who now is also serving as assistant city administrator.
The City of Platte City has entered into a letter of intent with Gehr (no “t” in her name and no relation to Gehrt). She will become city administrator on July 1, 2023.
Gehr’s initial contract will be for three years and her annual salary will begin at $120,000. She’ll get a $400 per month vehicle allowance and deferred compensation contribution equal to three percent of her salary.
The city administrator is required to maintain residency in the state, within a 30-minute response time to City Hall.
In a related move, DJ Gehrt’s annual salary, which has been $112,000, will be increased to $120,000 effective Nov. 1 when the new budget year begins for the city.
Gehrt became city administrator in Platte City more than a decade ago, in November of 2011.
Marji Gehr, finance officer, was appointed assistant city administrator in May 2016 and served in that position until voluntarily stepping down in December 2021 as part of a planned departure from the city. Her plans of a move out of the area later changed.
In her duties as assistant city administrator, Gehr continued to serve as finance officer while fulfilling additional senior management responsibilities including management oversight of police, parks and recreation, and public works departments at various times during her five year appointment.
Gehrt said Gehr has also been primarily responsible for the city’s internal organizational development programs and serving as project manager for several significant city projects and major community events.
After Gehrt’s announcement of a planned retirement date and prior to beginning a full external search, the city approached Gehr to determine if she was interested in remaining with the city to serve as the next city administrator. Following that discussion, Gehrt recommended to the personnel committee that the city follow through with the opportunity to retain Gehr as the prospective city administrator prior to an external recruitment effort. Discussions ensued beginning in May and wrapped up with the letter of intent and a draft of a city employment agreement approved last week by the Platte City Board of Aldermen.