Even with fun on the horizon, the Norwood Young America City Council has been hard at work. Among their projects are the continued efforts to looks for a new city administrator after Steve Helget departed on July 29.
The first part of this discussion centered around hiring Mike McGuire of McGuire Consulting Services as an interim City Administrator. As an interim, McGuire would be working three days a week, with two in office and one remote, according to Mayor Carol Lagergren. Compensation would be $100 per hour, which would include standard taxes. The contract has been examined by the city’s attorney, and all that needs to be specified as either a part-time employee or an independent contractor, which would affect how McGuire is taxed.
According to Lagergren, McGuire would personally prefer to be a part-time employee. The decision on the floor is simple: move forward, change the wordage to independent contractor, or reject the contract due to cost. If the contract falls through, someone else would have to step up and take care of the over sight of lacking a city administrator. Lagergren preferred to have someone named if they took over the work if an interim would not be approved.
“If we choose not to move forward with Mike McGuire because it is beyond what the city can afford, I can share that information with him,” said Lagergren. “If not him, I would like us to be clear on how we want the city to run during this interim time.”
The mayor also proposed delaying for another two weeks in order to lay out a plan for this contingency. Councilmember Dick Storm agreed with this idea. Other councilmembers also agreed that McGuire being specified as an “independent contractor” would also be preferable.
With that in mind, Lagergren made a motion to approve the contract. As no one seconded, motion died and the council and staff will continue to discuss options until the next council meeting.
Moving onto what the plan is for the permanent hire for the next city administrator. Gary Weiers, Management Consultant, presented the new contract and helped discuss changes with the council. Starting with the profile process, Lagergren nailed down a few details. Dick Storms, councilmember, also brought up that he would like “someone who really deals well with conflict” added to the attributes section. Granted, that’s not all they do, but resolving conflict can be an important aspect of the job.
Weiers had one issue in qualifications. Specifically, the request of five years working in municipal government with at least two as a city administrator. He was concerned it was restrictive, as there are plenty of paths to becoming a city administrator. They could be an assistant, or they could have worked in other leadership positions in a city.
“You won’t have a line of city administrators out of the door, because they don’t exist,” said Weiers. “The cream will rise to the top, but there won’t be any cream if they can’t even get through the door.”
He recommended taking out the reference of the two years as a city administrator. He also recommended removing the economic development experience references.
Salary was the next aspect to nail down. The range that NYA is putting out there is between $80-$100,000. Weiers suggested that if the council had concerns, now was the time to voice them. It was decided that the final cut off would be $105,000.
The final aspect Weiers wanted to discuss was dates. September 27 would be choosing finalists, with the 21 being devoted to interviews. Lagergren asked how the interview process would look. Weiers said he’d come before the council once again to discuss the process once finalists are chosen.
With all that, motion was made to approve the changes. Motion was approved unanimously.