Yearly appointment for city administrator needs rethinking

Posted: Mar. 7, 2013 9:54 am Updated: Mar. 28, 2013 11:15 am


To The Herald-Whig:

The discussion concerning the employment of Louisiana, Mo., city administrator is of great concern to me.

The goal of any good city administration is efficient, fair, cost-saving, knowledgeable operation. Taxpayers want their money spent wisely and they are watching. They want city personnel doing their tasks efficiently and well. They want development and implementation of short and long-term goals. Public policy demands transparency and good and effective publicity. Opportunities should be given for public input to be done in an orderly way.

A city administrator should be a well-trained and experienced person who has a record of efficiency and knowledge of how and who to hire and oversee needed personnel, operate city programs and projects while looking ahead to the future. That person can save the city money. While there is no perfect person for such a job, there are individuals available who can do the job and continue in that position for many years. It is up to the mayor and city council to set policies and make major decisions about the future of the city and then give direction to the city administrator to see that these matters are carried out. The day-to-day decisions are then left to the administrator, who in turn needs to give significant, complete and regular reports concerning the city business and how it is being conducted.

I am quite disturbed at the idea of a yearly appointment of the city administrator. Only a long-term employment will lead to a well-run city. I would expect that a well-trained person would normally want more than a short-term appointment. Good people come at a higher cost, but in the long run they can save considerable resources which may be tough to find.

My strong suggestion is that the mayor and city council put off a decision on a yearly appointment for the city administrator and think through the consequences of such a policy.

I want to see a well thought-out plan to see that the city of Louisiana is moving in a positive direction with short and long-term goals.


D. R. Cone

Louisiana, Mo.