The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

December 19, 2012

City Council hears administrator hiring plan

By Charlene Bielema
Herald Editor

CLINTON — The man providing human resources services to the city of Clinton wants to help the city conduct its search for its next administrator.

On Tuesday, Paul Greufe, who has been providing human resources services for the past few months to the city, outlined the process he would use to find and hire the next city administrator to replace Jeff Horne, who resigned last month.

And while the council last week approved his selection, that action remains unsigned by Mayor Mark Vulich. If he leaves it unsigned, it will be considered automatically approved on the 14th day.

If he vetoes it, five of the council's seven members would have to approve overriding the veto.

Greufe outlined a community-oriented plan that would cast a wide net over potential candidates and then turn it over to a hiring committee made up of a cross section of the community to pare the list and bring the final candidates before the council for consideration and community-wide events.

He said if done aggressively, a city administrator could be in place in three months. That led the council to ask questions about whether an interim is needed, with the consensus being that if it was a short-term search process then it could be handled internally by another designated department head or possibly a shared duty.

If it is anticipated to stretch to a year, then an interim brought in from the outside would be the way to go, Greufe said.

He said the most important step is getting a strong committee in place, one that includes members that have an interest and realize the time commitment necessary.

“Everybody at the end of the day wants the same exact thing,” Greufe said, adding the goal is to get the best city administrator the city can get and do it with the use of a transparent process in which committee members bring no politics to the table and have no hidden agendas.

“The community wants to be involved,” Greufe said “Allow them to be.”

Ward 3 Councilwoman Bev Hermann, who was not at the meeting in which Greufe's involvement was approved, said she wanted to have a council meeting to decide more specifics. She also sought clarification on why Greufe had not been hired on when the council approved it. After it was explained to her that it had remained unsigned by Vulich, the mayor said he had not signed it because Greufe had not been before the council prior to explain the proposal.

Vulich has not indicated whether he will sign the action.

“I didn't want to sign it until we had more information,” he said.

Vulich said among the information he wanted was a cost estimate. Greufe responded that he would expect to put 175 hours into the project and that the fee would come in around $22,000.

The council agreed to move the matter to the Jan. 8 city council agenda. By that time, the council will know the status of the resolution as formerly approved, and can talk more about the need for an interim city administrator.