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City council set work session time
ELGIN — The Elgin City Council has scheduled a work session to look at the city administrator job description.
The council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday to talk about the job description and what it wants out of the person who will fill that position.
In a special session Wednesday night, the council addressed the dilemma they are in since Terrie Richards abruptly resigned from her post as city recorder/administrator Monday.
Mayor Brent Linville said there are several ways they can address filling the position. They can leave the spot vacant until they hire someone or they can hire someone to be interim administrator on a month-by-month or even week-by-week basis, he said.
Another aspect to consider is that the city is interested in changing the recorder/administrator position from an elected to an appointed position, “which would then make us like other cities,” Linville said.
That could be a lengthy process, Linville said, that will ultimately be decided by voters.
Richards would have been up for re-election in the 2014 general election, with her term expiring Jan. 1, 2015. That somewhat complicates the decision on what to do with the position, how to find accountability in the interim and how to maintain operations.
“Right now we’re in a pickle,” said Councilor Dick Miller.
Steve Bogart, who served as interim city manager for Baker City and several other Oregon cities, advised the city council to take its time with the decision-making process. Bogart also said the council should consider whether day-to-day operations can be sustained without someone immediately filling the position.
“Evaluate your internal capacity,” he said.
Vickie Weaver, administrative assistant for the city, said she and the other employee in the office feel comfortable with handling the day-to-day operations.
Bogart also told councilors to explain the situation they are in to applicants, with possibly changing the nature of the position, and to be clear on what the expectations for that position will be.
Councilor Kathy Warren suggested they use Monday’s work session to look into exactly what they want from the administrator and to edit the job description appropriately.
“I think that’s got to be the first process,” she said.
Mayor Linville said councilors need to think long and hard about the job description and where they want to go.
“We’re not going to jump on anything,” he said. “We’re going to make the right decision.”