Archive for Thursday, September 22, 2005

Administrator candidate breaks off negotiations

Basehor City Council to re-open search for top municipal government job

September 22, 2005

It's been nine months since Basehor government watched its first-ever city administrator resign. It's been five months since the City Council began courting his replacement.

It's anybody's guess as to when that successor will be hired.

Negotiations between the city and its top choice to become the city's next full-time administrator have broken off. The candidate rejected the city's last contract offer and has turned down the position, mayor Chris Garcia said.

"Basically, we couldn't come to terms on salary and other things," Garcia said prior to Monday's meeting. "If we can't get something done with number two then I guess we start over."

Following a closed-door discussion between the mayor and council members during Monday's night's meeting, it now appears the city will re-open its search for a viable administrator. Twenty to 25 candidates submitted applications for the city's vacant administrator position. From those applicants, a front-runner and a fallback candidate -- both of whom hail from the Kansas City metropolitan area -- were selected.

The second candidate informed Garcia that he would not be interested in the job unless his employment was approved by unanimous consent. During Monday's executive session discussion, Garcia learned the second candidate did not have the sought-after unanimous approval.

"He asked for unanimous (approval) and that was not there so the only option left is to open (the search) back up," Garcia said.

A decision on the next step in finding a new administrator has not yet been made. The city could employ the League of Kansas Municipalities to coordinate another search, as it did last year when the city hired former administrator David Fuqua.

"I don't know if the council has the professional experience to go through this again," the mayor said. He added, "I went through a five month process and got nowhere so I'm putting my energy into something else."

In the interim, Garcia and two other council members will soon begin interviewing candidates for the director of community development position, a job once held by codes administrator Mike Hooper and former city planner Angela Solberg. That position, like city administrator, has been vacant for several months.

"My direction now is to get the director of community development in place," Garcia said. "We've got to get some staff on board."

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