Archive for Thursday, September 18, 2003

City weighing administrator position

City Council focuses on planning for future development

September 18, 2003

During a work session Monday, Sept. 15, members of the Basehor City Council decided to further pursue hiring a full-time city administrator in 2004.

There was no vote on the issue, but City Council members indicated they would entertain the idea of hiring a city administrator during future meetings and discussions.

"I still think there are some questions that need to be answered but I think we can move forward," City Council member Keith Sifford said.

Last week, the City Council heard a presentation from a representative of the League of Kansas Municipalities concerning procedures for hiring, salary requirements and roles of a city administrator.

In its 2004 budget, the City Council set aside $65,000 for the position.

A representative from the League of Municipalities told city officials last week a city administrator's salary could run anywhere from $45,000 to $55,000 a year excluding benefits and possibly a severance package.

However, City Council members disliked the idea of a severance package and thought the salary range presented to them was too high.

A city administrator could assist the city in dealing with an expanding population, a boom in development as well as relieve some of the responsibilities of current city staff and research grant opportunities, city officials said.

The City Council has set no timeline on when it will make a decision on hiring a city administrator.

Another option discussed by the City Council Monday night is possibly hiring a land planner or consulting firm to help the city in planning and dealing with growth. City Council members debated whether hiring a land planner or consultant would be a cheaper alternative to hiring a city administrator.

City Council member John Bonee, who's part of a newly formed transportation committee, said he and committee members Steve Cole and George Smith discussed the idea during their first meeting but have yet to reach a consensus.

In other news, the City Council:

  • Rejected a $600,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation. The funds would be used for the improvement of 158th Street in Basehor.

The matching funds grant would require the city to put forth $1.2 million of its own meeting to receive the KDOT funds. It's money the city doesn't have to spend on 158th Street, City Council members decided.

"It's a dead duck," Scherer said of the grant. "We'll give the money back."

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