Afton City Council discussses vacant adniministrator jobDuring its May 15 meeting Afton City Council discusses how to proceed with filling its vacant city administrator position, which is currently filled by Interim City Administrator Ron Moose.
By: Amber Kispert-Smith, Woodbury Bulletin
What started out as a simple discussion regarding annual pay adjustments during the May 15 Afton City Council meeting quickly turned into a discussion on how the city would best function.
Afton City Council was tasked with approving pay adjustments and job descriptions for both its deputy clerk and office assistant, however the discussion quickly turned to how it wanted to progress with finding a full-time city administrator.
“To me (the pay increase and job descriptions) involves everybody,” Council Member Bill Palmquist said.
Afton has been without a full-time city administrator since February when City Council decided to end the city’s contract with former City Administrator Sara Irvine.
Current Interim City Administrator Ron Moorse was hired at that time after having previously served Afton in the same role and as government affairs consultant.
During the May 15 meeting, Palmquist questioned Mayor Pat Snyder and Council Member Peg Nolz – who sit on the city’s Personnel Committee – if there have been any discussions on finding a long term solution to its administrator problem.
“I’d like to have a discussion of what we’re going to do,” he said.
Both Palmquist and Council Member Randy Nelson said they were in favor of offering the administrator position to Moorse.
“I’d like to have Ron be our administrator,” Nelson said.
“But if that isn’t going to work out, we need to have a plan,” Palmquist said.
When asked whether the Personnel Committee has had discussions with Moorse regarding a long term agreement, Snyder said nothing had been discussed.
In fact, Snyder said she and Nolz have been discussing if Afton actually needs an administrator since other smaller cities function under the leadership of a clerk or zoning administrator.
“A city administrator might be more than we need,” she said. “We’re still trying to come up with what exactly we need.”
Palmquist said he would not be in favor of eliminating the city administrator position.
“I want an administrator – I value the expertise,” he said. “I rely on the staff.”
Council Member Joe Richter said the employee title isn’t what’s important; what’s important is the duties that they perform.
“I don’t want to see us get caught up in this title fight,” he said.
Palmquist made the motion to direct the Personnel Committee to work with Moorse on developing a long term agreement.
Moorse did not comment during the discussions.
Palmquist’s motion passed with four of the council members voting in favor and Nolz abstaining.
In addition to directing the Personnel Committee to develop an agreement with Moorse, Afton City Council also approved pay adjustments during the meeting.
Afton City Council approved a 2 percent pay increase for Pat Joyce, the city’s office assistant.
Joyce’s wages will increase from $13.27 to $13.54 per hour.
Afton City Council also approved an 8 percent pay increase for Kim Swanson Linner, the city’s deputy clerk, to reflect an economic adjustment as well as a step increase to reflect Linner’s increased job duties.
Linner’s wages will increase from $20.60 per hour to $22.25 per hour.