The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

January 15, 2013

Search committee set for city administrator

Group to help narrow choices for Clinton's new city administer

By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer

CLINTON — A dozen community members will partner with city human resource consultant Paul Greufe to pare down the choices for the next city administrator, City Council members decided Monday.

The Council had a list of 26 names to narrow to a committee of less than 15.  The people who made the committee are: Pastor Ron Lott, Nathan Sondgeroth, Erin George, Pat Lonergan, LaMetta Wynn, Rita Mulholland, Karen Vickers, Dave Keefer, Police Chief Brian Guy, Fire Chief Mike Brown, Tim Clark and Mike Rastrelli.

Greufe will be in charge of contacting committee members to develop a meeting schedule.

During the special work session Monday, Greufe went into detail about the selection committee’s role in the process and how that will connect with the City Council’s role.

“My goal is this committee will buy into the whole process and feel like they had a part in the city administrator selection process,” Greufe said.

According to Greufe, the first step would be a compensation review. Following the review, if a large number of exceptional candidates submit resumes, phone and Skype interviews would be conducted so the selection committee could pare down candidates.

Council members also agreed they would like to conduct professional testing, financial background checks and drug testing on the top candidates.    

Although the professional testing could carry some additional costs beyond Greufe’s roughly $22,000 fee, he strongly recommended it.  

“If you don’t do it, the downside is someone can come and sell you something, ‘I’m great with people. I love people. I hug people every day.’ But then when you work with them you find out that that’s not always the case,” Greufe said.

Council members agreed they did not want to see the applications the selection committee was receiving throughout the process. They would only like to be a part of the final selection. This also means that if interim city administrator Jessica Kinser wanted to apply for the job, she would also need to follow the selection committee process.

When Greufe asked council members if they would like to have the candidates at community forums. At-large council member John Rowland suggested the council should be wary of taking too long at the end of the process.  

“We lost the best candidate once, maybe twice. They were taken by somebody else,” Rowland said.  “That’s something that people should be aware of is if you’ve  go a top candidate or two on your radar, the odds are pretty great somebody else does, too.”

Finalists would be selected for on-site interviews, which would likely stretch an entire day to include several meetings, Greufe said.  

Greufe anticipates the process will take approximately three months, with the candidate receiving an offer by mid-April.  However, the focus will be on securing a quality candidate rather than being constricted by the aggressive timeline.  

“The sense I have from the council is ‘if it takes a little bit longer, we’re okay with that. We want the best person,’” Greufe said.