Appointing some city officials in Missouri town leaves a lot to be desired

Posted: Mar. 22, 2013 11:12 am Updated: Apr. 12, 2013 12:15 pm


To The Herald-Whig:

The practice of appointing certain Louisiana, Mo., city officials leaves much to be desired.

The goal of any city administration is manifold: Efficiency, dependability, appropriate.

With the periodic appointments there is the great possibility of lack of proper service and support.

At the present time it appears that city administrator, chief of police, city clerk and city treasurer are appointed for one or more years. It would be helpful, in my opinion, to employ these individuals, not for a term, but for whatever time these persons wish to be employed, but with periodic reviews. In order to gain consistency in public service, these people need to know they can do their jobs without worrying about the next appointment. But in the event that these people are not performing properly there needs to be a review process at certain designated times. The job descriptions should be well-defined and known to the public as well as the employees.

Employment of these people could come about as a result of applications received by a personnel committee appointed and approved by the mayor and city council members. The mayor, obviously, is a key person in this process, but if we want efficient and competent persons we need to make sure they know their tasks.

The task of a city administrator in our community is critical to many services which the city provides. Such a person needs to know he or she will have more than a year before a contract or appointment would be renewed. Such a person is in the position to save the city many dollars and to make sure services are performed efficiently.

The task of the city clerk should be to make sure city records are kept in good order and certain administrative tasks are accomplished. The city treasurer should be a well-trained and knowledgeable person in financial affairs.

The chief of police may be in a different category than the others but needs to be a well-trained and supported person so that the job can be performed according to the law and accepted practice in that position. The employment of the chief might be delegated to the city police commissioner with approval of the mayor and council.


D. R. Cone

Louisiana, Mo.