Council learns more about administrator search
The Fairfield City Council heard from a management consultant at its meeting Monday who offered to help the city find a new city administrator.
Karl Nollenberger, vice president of GovHR USA, informed the council about the things his company can do for the city as it tries to fill the city administrator position, which has been vacant since former city administrator Kevin Flanagan resigned in April.
Nollenberger has recruited city administrators and managers for other towns in Iowa such as West Liberty, Burlington and Washington. He said the length of time to find an administrator is usually 12 weeks from the time he starts the search until the city has hired someone. GovHR USA finds candidates for the position and whittles them down to a select few, who then interview with the full council.
Mayor Ed Malloy asked Nollenberger if the candidates would inquire about why Fairfield has had two city administrators in the past four years, suggesting a high turnover rate. Nollenberger said the candidates would want to know the circumstances surrounding both administrators’ departure. Malloy added that, before the previous two administrators, the council had an administrator who served for almost three decades.
The council plans to meet with other management consultants before hiring one to conduct its city administrator search.
In other news, the council spent a few minutes debating whether to approve the sponsored projects allocation list. The item that drew the most attention was the $400,000 allotted for pervious parking at the Roosevelt Community Recreation Center.
Pervious pavement is a porous kind of pavement that allows water to seep through it and soak into the soil below, which reduces the amount of water contributing to stormwater runoff. Because of these environmentally friendly effects, the state of Iowa’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) has offered to pay the entire cost of not only the construction of the parking lot, but the $60,000 vacuum attachment to the city’s truck that is needed to vacuum the sand from the pavement.
Councilor Jessica Ledger-Kalen voted against the sponsored projects list because it included money for pervious parking. She said she didn’t think it was a good use of SRF money. She was especially concerned about the maintenance costs the city would incur in the winter when a city crew would have to vacuum the sand from the pavement to maintain its porosity.
In an interview today, Ledger-Kalen said she spoke with Fairfield Sustainability Coordinator Scott Timm after the meeting, and that he eased her concerns about the project. She said she is now fine with the pervious parking lot.