The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Top News

June 27, 2013

UPDATED: City council officially names Kinser administrator

CLINTON — Clinton city hall filled with applause Tuesday night as the Clinton City Council approved Jessica Kinser as the permanent city administrator.

The council unanimously approved a contract with Kinser, causing the department heads and community members who attended the City Council meeting to share their excitement for Kinser to ascend from the interim city administrator role she has held for the past six months.

In January, council members selected Kinser, who has been the finance director since October 2011, to fill the role of interim city administrator after former city administrator Jeff Horne resigned in November of last year.

“I’m happy. I’m relieved to get to this point and I’m excited to start working on all the things we’ve been talking about accomplishing,” Kinser told the Herald following the meeting.

Earlier this year, the City Council opted to have human resource consultant Paul Greufe lead a committee of community members in finding the next city administrator. The committee then selected Kinser and Ben Benson, the assistant city manager for Joliet, Ill., out of a pool of 24 candidates. The two finalists underwent an intensive interview process with community and business leaders in late May.

During the committee of the whole meeting on June 11 council members directed Greufe to negotiate an employment contract with Kinser. The contract language reads it was in full force once approved by council members Tuesday night.  

Under the approved contract, Kinser’s annual salary will be $106,500 for the first 90 days in her role as city administrator and will increase to $107,500 after that 90-day period. Upon completion of a successful review annually, she will receive an additional $2,500 or an equal percentage given to non-union city employees, whichever is greater.

Mayor Mark Vulich questioned the part of Kinser’s contract stating the council would review Kinser, when under city ordinance it states the city administrator is responsible to the mayor and the council.  

City Attorney Jeff Farwell told Vulich the contract specifically states the council will be involved in performance evaluations because the hiring and firing of a city administrator is strictly up to the council.

The approved contract also stipulates she will receive three months of severance pay if she is terminated while being willing and able to perform her duties or if the City Council suggests she resign. However, this stipulation might be increased in the future, council members indicated Tuesday.

At-large Councilwoman Jennifer Graf pointed out the previous city administrators have received six-month severance packages. Graf asked if the contract could be revised to six months, given the history of the previous contracts.

Farwell explained the ordinance dictating the benefit states the city administrator would receive three months, but it did not state if that was three months minimum or maximum. He suggested if council members wanted to increase the amount of severance pay, they should revise the ordinance to specify three months as the minimum.  

Kinser said of the many items the city must address, she is most eager to establish a strategic plan.  

“The strategic planning process is something I’m really ready to start because it’s not just a council or city administrator process, it should be a public process. I’m ready to get that going and get the community involved.”    

As city administrator, Kinser will be responsible for hiring her replacement for finance director. Until one can be hired, she will serve as both.  

“I’m going to brush off that job description and get that job posted as soon as possible,” Kinser said. 

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Davenport officials arrest 4 in child abuse case

    Authorities say they have arrested four women in connection to possible child sex abuse and pornography at a Davenport trailer park.

    The Scott County Sheriff's Office says the women were taken into custody Wednesday. They are all charged with felony counts of child endangerment.

    April 16, 2014

  • Authorities: Iowa suspect is longtime fugitive

    Authorities say a man being held in Waterloo is a fugitive of more than 40 years from North Carolina.

    The Charlotte Observer reports the man was arrested after the Iowa Transportation Department's facial recognition system flagged his driver's license photo. Authorities say they found information in his residence that identified him as 68-year-old Ronald Dwaine Carnes.

    April 16, 2014

  • To sleep well, you may need to adjust what you eat and when

    Sleep.  Oh, to sleep.  A good night's sleep is often a struggle for more than half of American adults.  And for occasional insomnia, there are good reasons to avoid using medications, whether over-the-counter or prescription.

    April 16, 2014

  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • Inmate charged in Rockford lawyer's 2008 death

    Murder charges were announced Wednesday against the one-time client of a Rockford attorney who was fatally shot while clearing snow from his driveway in 2008.

    Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato said a grand jury has indicted Richard E. Wanke Jr., 53, on charges of first-degree murder in the death of Gregory H. Clark, 60. Wanke was arrested Wednesday at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill, where he has been serving a 14-year sentence on burglary charges with a projected parole date of May 7.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite ruling, Iowa to bar all felons from voting

    Elections officials will continue to bar felons from voting despite an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that suggests not all of them have lost their voting rights.

    Three justices ruled Tuesday that only some felonies are considered "infamous crimes" under the Iowa Constitution that bar individuals from voting or holding office.

    April 16, 2014

  • Branstad's tax return shows income of $234,907

    Gov. Terry Branstad released his tax returns Wednesday, showing he earned $234,907 and paid $28,298 in federal taxes in 2013.

    The governor and his wife paid $32,085 in federal taxes but are getting a refund of $3,787. Their state tax return shows they paid in $10,285 in taxes but will get a refund of $4,158. In addition the governor and first lady each received $54 back from the Legislature as all Iowa taxpayers did making their total Iowa tax bill $6,235.

    April 16, 2014

  • Low blood-sugar levels make for grousing spouses

    Husbands and wives reported being most unhappy with their spouses when their blood-sugar levels were lowest, usually at night, according to research released this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Missing a meal, dieting or just being hungry may be the reason, researchers said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Jenny McCarthy announces engagement on 'The View'

    Jenny McCarthy had big news to share Wednesday on "The View": She's engaged to Donnie Wahlberg.

    McCarthy raised her hidden left hand from behind the desk, revealing an engagement ring.

    April 16, 2014

  • Iran cuts nuke weapons ability

    The United Nations will release a report this week certifying that Iran's ability to make a nuclear bomb has been greatly reduced because it has diluted half of its material that can be turned most quickly into weapons-grade uranium, diplomats said Tuesday.

    April 16, 2014

AP Video