Mayor supports hiring another city administrator for ‘competitive’ salary

Glen Rose Mayor Dennis Moore. Photo courtesy City of Glen Rose

Glen Rose Mayor Dennis Moore

Photo courtesy City of Glen Rose

By Kathryn Jones

Editor

Glen Rose Mayor Dennis Moore said Tuesday he wants to push ahead with the search for a new city administrator and favored paying a “competitive” salary for the position.

“We do need to attract somebody competent, not just the ‘good ‘ol boy’ system,” Moore said. “I’m not opposed to hiring someone local, but we need the best person for the job. If it’s a local, great. We just need the best person.”

The position is coming open after July 12, the last day City Administrator Ken West will be on the job. He resigned on Monday, citing concerns about some city council members’ opposition to his salary and not being allowed to do his job.

West also has taken a new position with the Southlake Police Department as a resource officer with Southlake Independent School District. He will help provide security on school campuses and educational information about safety.

As the first person to carry the city administrator title in Glen Rose, West faced controversy about his salary of $90,000 and his background, which was mostly in law enforcement. However, when he was hired in March 2012, West was serving as assistant city manager of Lake Worth north of Fort Worth.

Earlier this month, West’s job was the subject of a special executive session of the Glen Rose City Council. The meeting lasted almost one-and-a-half-hours and the council emerged from the closed session to announce in open session that the issues raised could be addressed by the city’s Employee Policy Manual.

Moore said in a telephone interview that he thought a competitive starting salary for the next administrator would be in the $70,000 range, the figure that the last council started with in its search that led to West’s hiring.

“I think that ought to be the beginning salary,” Moore said.

The mayor said he believed the city could support that, considering that the city has $3 million in reserves – half of which is earmarked for street improvements. The city also has realized so much in savings from the retirements of several long-term city employees, including former City Secretary Peggy Busch, Inspector Bill Daniels and Code Enforcement Office Darrell Webb, that all city salaries, including West’s, were up by $25,000.

“We’re doing OK” financially, Moore said. “A city administrator’s salary is not going to bankrupt the city.”

Moore said he expected to call a special council meeting to deal with the city administrator opening. He added that he expected a search committee appointed that would include several members of the local business community.

The city also is searching for a new Convention & Visitors Bureau director after the resignation of Billy Huckaby, and a new city events planner after the resignation of Tara Janszen.

City Councilman Johnny Martin, Holiday Inn Express & Suites General Manager Steven Garcia and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center Marketing Director Warren Lewis are heading up the search committee for the CVB jobs and will review applications and narrow the list of candidates.

Moore voted in favor of West’s hiring as a council member and said that he felt the city administrator made a positive difference.

“One of the most important things is he brought a kind of cohesiveness to the city,” Moore said. “City employees answered to one person. I think they felt secure. Somebody was leading them.”

The mayor added that he was overall “happy” with West’s job performance.

“I helped hire him and I voted to renew his contract,” Moore said. “I think he did a lot of good for the city.”

He added that there is a lot for the council to do, including discussing and approving a new budget and filling the key city jobs.

Moore said he did not know if the rest of the city council would support him in hiring a new administrator and the starting salary figure he favors.

“I just want to see someone who’s qualified,” he said. “I would hate to see us regress.”

One Response to Mayor supports hiring another city administrator for ‘competitive’ salary

  1. Larry P. Smith Reply

    July 4, 2013 at 6:42 am

    Ihe Mayor is on the rght track. Ken brought professionalism and the visits that I had with him were cordial and upbeat.
    The new City Administrator should live in Glen Rose and become a part of the community so that he or she can share in the fruits of his or her labor. Also, this will give the opportunity to fully realize the character and quality of Glen Rose as well as the challenges and opportunities we face. Belief in our future is essential. This applies to the new CVB Director as well.
    A local hire is unlikely, but if someone here possesses the skills, knowledge and the current contacts that are essential, they should apply.
    I recently met such a person whoe expertise is in a different field. Others may exist.
    We need to move forward expeditously on the CVB, City Administrator and Economic Development. There are ways to pursue economic development without acquiring a Director and incurring that expense. We must create jobs, broaden our tax base, and improve the business climate. The County has already shown a willingness to work with the City on this important issue. We must move forward.
    We cannot afford to and will not “regress”.
    Larry P. Smith

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