Weatherford Democrat

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July 12, 2012

Search begins for Willow Park city administrator

WILLOW PARK — The city of Willow Park is one step closer to replacing the city’s current city administrator.

After moving the item to follow the council’s executive session, council members voted Tuesday night to authorize execution of a contract with Strategic Government Resources to conduct a search for a city administrator.  

Once the contract is signed, the search could take up to 120 days, Mayor Richard Neverdousky said. The search is expected to cost the roughly $24,000, plus or minus expenses, he said.

During a May city council meeting, the council approved creation of a budget and financial analyst position, “realigning” city staff and authorized the mayor to recommend personnel line item changes and recommend appointment of an organizational planning committee.

Neverdousky told the Democrat at the time that city council wanted to find a professional administrator who is a college graduate and has some experience with a larger city, someone familiar with the steps they need to take to grow.

“It’s been kicked around a little bit for a while, [and] some things arose that we saw perhaps this was a good time, as good a time as any to do it,” Neverdousky said. “We’ve looked at some of our sister cities, some of the progress they’re making, looked at us needing to make similar progress.”

The city’s growth was also creating a need for additional staff, including someone who could devote their full time to financial issues, a position they expect to create and fill with current administrator Candy Scott, he said.

Strategic Government Resources has conducted searches for city managers or assistant city managers for cities including Weatherford, Hudson Oaks, Denton, Colleyville, Lancaster and Amarillo, according to information on their website.

Several years ago, Hudson Oaks brought in Sherri Campbell-Husband, a professional city administrator, Neverdousky said. “That’s kind of what a growing city needs.”

“Candy has been a loyal employee,” Neverdousky said. “She’s proficient in budgets and our financial things and we’re going to put her in a position where she can do that.”

The city’s adminstrator does not currently have a contract with the city.

“We’re not going to jump into anything,” Neverdousky said. “I think in the past, there have been quick decisions made that in hind sight might not have been the way to go. I think at this point, we’ve waited this long, we can wait another 120 days.”

Recently elected council members Bernard Suchocki and Dan Stalling submitted a list of objectives with the hiring of a new city administrator as their top priority at the last city council meeting and recommended the city go with the company to locate and recommend a candidate.

The two also requested the city use SGR to “place an experienced, interim professional” as city administrator during the selection process for a permanent city administrator.

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