Archive for Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Basehor City Council in no hurry to find new administator

October 2, 2012

As the search process for a new city administrator is under way, Basehor City Council members made it clear at their study session Monday there’s no reason to rush the process.

The new city administrator will need to understand the dynamics of a small town, but one that is also growing and competing for new businesses and contracts, council members agreed.

“Our constituents are the customers of the city, and I think an administrator has to understand that,” Council Member Brian Healy said.

Council members had varying views on whether the preferred applicants would be from a larger community, such as Overland Park, or a small town like Basehor, but the best candidate will be fully committed to Basehor’s long-term goals and mesh with the current staff, they agreed.

The city is in good financial standing, Interim City Administrator Lloyd Martley said, which is illustrated by its AA-minus bond rating it earned from Standard & Poor’s for the $8.8 million in general-obligation bonds it sold.

“It’s better and more sound than it’s ever been,” Martley said.

The city’s finances may be on track, but Mayor David Breuer brought up a different hindrance in the search. With three city administrators in the last five years, Basehor doesn’t have a good track record, Breuer said. That may make some applicants wary of relocating their family to a new town if they don’t think they have job security.

“We’ve got some obstacles to overcome,” Breuer said.

Council Member Travis Miles said he would have the same concerns about job security if he looked at the city’s past.

“I’d ask ‘What kind of commitment is the city of Basehor making to me, and what kind of commitment am I making to them?’” Miles said.

Setting a longer contract length may combat those concerns, he said. But it was pointed out that the previous administrator, Mark Loughry, was fired before his contract was up.

Council members will suggest edits to the city administrator job description as well as a salary range and contract length. They plan to have the job posted in mid-October.

In other business at the study session, council members:

• Discussed options to change how sewer connection fees are collected on new taps. Gene Myracle, city superintendent, offered six possible options including flat fees, charge by usage, charge by sewer pipe size and several other equations accounting for square footage, usage and other factors. The consensus was that option No. 6 would be most fair, as it charges those who create a larger impact on the sewer plant a larger fee. The council will vote on the issue at its meeting Monday, Oct. 15.

• Discussed replacing a police vehicle for Police Chief Lloyd Martley earlier than scheduled to avoid paying for continual maintenance issues. Martley was scheduled to get a new car in 2014. The council will vote on the issue at its next meeting.

• Discussed implementation of the city’s employee performance evaluation, which is phase 2 of the city’s salary adjustment plan. Healy will collect sample evaluation plans to share with council members at a future meeting.

• Discussed the 142nd Street resurfacing agreement between Basehor and the Unified Government of Wyandotte. The repair cost of $70,000 will be split evenly by the two entities. The council will vote on the issue at its next meeting.

• Discussed road repair projects at Bradfort Court and 153rd Street at the Cedar Lakes Subdivision, 160th Circle at the Gardens Subdivision, Wellington Place Drive at Wellington Place Subdivision, and the police department parking lot behind City Hall.

• Discussed the purchase of an asphalt smooth drum roller from Coleman Equipment in Basehor. The equipment cost $5,600, which was within purchasing authority and did not need to go to a vote. Myracle said the roller will allow road crews to make repairs more quickly and efficiently while saving the city money because it won’t have to rent it anymore.

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