Cassville searching for city administrator

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

City changes tune on job, hopes to give mayor relief with hire

In March, Cassville officials said the city did not need a city administrator, but six months later, the city is changing its tune.

Aldermen voted last week in an executive session to begin the process of hiring a full-time city administrator.

"I think it's becoming apparent [Mayor] Bill [Shiveley], even though he's very effective, has a lot on his plate," said Terry Heinz, alderman. "He works very hard, but he can't cover all the bases at city hall like a full-time administrator could.

"He's not always available because he goes out of town a lot, and we need a head of state, so to speak, in city hall to always handle business. It's more to take the stress off of Bill because he's shouldered the load long enough."

Shiveley, who is also the CEO of Barry Electric Cooperative said he is doing all he can to keep up, and is glad to see the council move toward having a full-time administrator at hand.

"Discussions have been held off and on since about three years ago," he said. "I've spent an awful lot of time on the job and have been more hands on."

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

Shiveley said about four months ago, the city advertised for a part-time administrator, but chose not to hire anyone.

"We tried to advertise for a part-time position earlier this year, but we only got two applications and decided we may as well go for a full-time position," Heinz said.

Applicants for the position should be at least 21 years of age, a graduate of an accredited university or college, majoring in public municipal administration or have the equivalent qualifications and experience in financial, administration and/or public relations fields. Three years of experience as a city administrator or city manager is required. Benefits include paid life and health insurance plus a LAGERS retirement plan.

The salary range for the position is expected to be about $45,000 to $55,000, and the successful candidate will be required to establish residency within 12 months.

Shiveley comes up for reelection in April, but said the council's decision was not tied into any upcoming election. He also said he is not sure if he will run again or if he will step down.

"We are in the beginning of a big project [at Barry Electric] and I'd hate to quit with the projects we have in the city, like making sure the transportation tax is put to good use," Shiveley said. "But, I have a full-time job already and quite a lot on my plate."

Shiveley said it would be more efficient for the city to have an administrator at city hall managing the departments and taking calls, instead of him taking calls at Barry Electric or at home.

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.

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