Council nearing decision on city administrator search firm
The Tonganoxie City Council appears ready to select a firm next week to guide its search for a new city administrator.
At a special meeting Monday, the council agreed to request representatives from Art Davis Group LLC of Lee’s Summit, Mo., to discuss the search at its Monday, Dec. 12, meeting. The council also agreed to check references the firm provided and have City Attorney Mike Kelly review the Art Davis Group’s initial proposal.
If the council does select the firm, the search will cost the city $13,100 for service and fees.
At the special meeting, the council reviewed the five bids the city received following a request for proposals. The council compared all for such things as cost, schedule, local references and availability to meet with the council and other local parties.
The proposals came with costs ranging from near $4,000 from the League of Kansas Municipalities to the $23,000 Mercer Group Inc. of Stillwater, Okla., proposed.
When Councilman Dennis Bixby said a high fee would likely earn the council “push back” from residents, Councilman Bill Peak pointed out the city would save that much and more in salary during the period it didn’t have a city administrator after Mike Yanez left that position at the end of the year.
Mayor Jason Ward defended the expense by noting the council would be hiring someone for an extended time to manage what amounted to a $13 million annual business.
The council feared the League of Municipalities would not provide the thorough services the professional services offered. Tipping the scales in favor of the Art Davis Group among the firms was a detailed schedule it provided that would have a new city administrator in place by April 1, 2012, should the firm be hired Dec. 13.