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Sandwich City Council eyes creation of new city administrator position

The Sandwich City Council discussed the creation of a city administrator position during a committee of the whole meeting May 16.

Council members agreed to place a job description for the position on the the agenda for their next regular meeting at 7 p.m. May 23 for a possible vote.

If the council approves, the administrator would be appointed annually by the council and report to the mayor.

During the May 16 committee meeting, Mayor Todd Latham presented a list of job duties for the position, which he said he had taken from another municipality in the county and modified to be more appropriate for Sandwich.

“This might be something that takes more than one or two meetings, but I think the goal is to get the job description right,” Latham said.

Alderman Rich Robinson voiced support for the proposed job description.

“I think it’s smart that we don’t reinvent the wheel and that we borrow from other communities and agencies to put the format together,” Robinson said. “Ultimately the administrator is going to be the day-to-day operations manager for the city.”

Alderman Fred Kreinbrink said he believes the proposed duties are a good start, but questioned that they may be too much for one person.

“It’s going to take a highly educated person, I can tell you that,” said Alderman Bill Frisch.

As proposed by Latham, the administrator would prepare council meeting agendas and attend all City Council meetings, organize and coordinate all departments, and monitor and advise daily operations of the city government that are under the Mayor’s direction.

The administrator would also oversee liquor licenses, evaluate and oversee city projects, programs, agreements and policies, and serve as the budget officer, overseeing a good deal of the city’s finances.

The administrator would also develop the annual budget, prepare monthly financial reports, review payroll and accounts receivable and report on the city’s financial condition to City Council periodically.

The administrator would also serve as the city’s development administrator.

The administrator would oversee planning and zoning staff reports, land use policy, and the city’s master plan. The administrator would also develop and recommend programs to assure the economic development opportunities and financial vitality of the city, prepare financial incentive plans and meet with potential developers.

The administrator would monitor public safety by overseeing and reviewing the efficiency of public safety, emergency preparedness, police and public works departments.

Human resources would also be part of the administrator’s duties. The administrator would enforce and implement personnel rules and regulations, review promotions and disciplines, facilitate collective bargaining agreements, and prepare annual salary recommendations.

The administrator would also handle community relations and communications, both between the city and its residents and intergovernmental relations and coordination.

Alderwoman Rebecca Johnson said the council has been talking about creating the position for a long time.

Referring to the position’s proposed duties, Johnson said, “Although it’s an extensive list, of course I want someone who’s going to focus on our economic development and downtown district.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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