Weatherford Democrat

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July 14, 2013

Willow Park city administrator retains powers

(Continued)

“I think that before the city administrator can appoint or terminate anyone he needs the approval of the city council.”

The proposed ordinance was also intended to curtail oversight of the city’s police and fire department personnel by the city administrator, as well.  

“I don’t really think the city administrator really has the expertise to really get involved …” Suchocki said, whose bill would have left oversight solely with the police and fire chiefs, who have contracts with the city.

“During the first city administrator ordinance, I didn’t envision that the city administrator would have the power he has apparently assumed,” Suchocki said. “I envisioned that any changes - and I want to hear any changes, any recommendations - would come up to city council.”

Another change would have made it a city ordinance requirement for the city administrator to produce a written executive report one week prior to each regularly scheduled council meeting.

The city administrator currently provides a written monthly report to council members, though Suchocki said he wanted the report to provide additional specific information, including updates to the action item list, information on potential developers meeting with the city and a list of any contracts signed by the city.

The proposed ordinance would also have allowed any elected official to interview any department supervisor and perform on site inspections without going through the city administrator, something the mayor and several council members expressed concern about when Suchocki made the proposal earlier in the year.

There was no discussion of the ordinance by those who opposed it Tuesday night.

However, City Administrator Matt Shaffstall weighed in on a draft of the proposed ordinance in a June memo to the council.

“The role of the city administrator is to oversee the day-to-day operations of the city and carry out the city council’s goals and objectives,” Shaffstall wrote. “The proposed changes weaken the city administrator’s ability to carry out the assigned duties and keep the city running smoothly.”

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