City Administrator not a priority for Cassville

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Aldermen pleased with mayor's work, say no need for administrator

The city of Cassville has been without a city administrator since March of 2012, and city aldermen said there has not been a new one hired because there is not a need for one.

Terry Heinz, alderman, said the city had about $65,000 in the budget this year to hire an administrator, but decided against the hire and, to use that money for other needs.

"We have been without a city administrator and our plan for this fiscal year is to continue without one," he said. "We decided before any transfers of money not to hire one, and we said since we are not, let's not let that money just sit there and let's put it to work."

Bill Shiveley, mayor of Cassville, said some of the money that would have been used to pay a city administrator will instead be used to make repair to the roof of city hall.

"There's still some of that money left, but not enough to fund a full-time position," he said. "At some point, I am sure we'll get someone in there."

A city administrator's duties include overseeing all departments, including public works and police, as well as working on projects to improve the city.

Heinz said the main reason the city is not worried about hiring an administrator is because Shiveley has taken on the role, and aldermen are pleased with his performance. "I think it's something we'll take a look at every year, but since we have such a well-qualified mayor that is the workaholic that he is, we're in good shape without designating one," he said. "If Shiveley does not run again, the new mayor may not want to run the show like Shiveley does, but Bill meets with the department heads each week, and we are doing fine now as it is."

Heinz also said hiring an administrator would not be wise, as the city does not have any money to fund projects a new administrator may want to pursue.

"We don't need to have the expense of an administrator because we don't have tons of extra money to spend for projects," he said. "Sometimes, city administrators want to make a name for themselves and do projects, but we have no money and grants are nearly impossible to get. All our money is on the 2-cent sales tax, and that's how we fund all the departments."

Darrell Ledenham, Cassville alderman, said while the city is not pursuing a city administrator this year, he thinks there will be one in the future.

"It used to be a mayor and council board, and then we hired Greg Beavers, and he was great," Ledenham said. "After Greg left, we had a series of administrators, and Greg's work was hard to follow. We do need one, and we will eventually go look to hire for that position.

"City administrator is a position that requires some schooling, because they have to look at things like grants, and they have lots of other things to be aware of."

The last city administrator, Eugene Dilbeck, resigned in 2012 following a 4-1/2-hour executive session at a council meeting. Dilbeck had served as Cassville's city administrator since Jan. 1, 2010. He and his wife, Lynette, were originally hired as the city's economic development team in April of 2008. Eugene Dilbeck earned a salary of $58,795.10, and Lynette Dilbeck earned a salary of $40,200.

Shiveley, who is undertaking the duties of mayor and of city administrator, is not making any extra money for the administrator position.

"Right now, I am trying to cover both positions, and we had put some money in the budget to hire an administrator, but we had to do the roof repairs," he said. "So, we allocated the money from that fund."

Heinz said there is not a set line item for a city administrator's salary, and the money used for a salary would likely be split up among city departments the administrator deals with.

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