The Colfax City Council may have set a record for the brevity of their meeting on Monday night. Fifteen minutes after they opened their meeting, Mayor David Mast tapped his gavel on the table and adjourned it. Thanks to a lengthy workshop session in September and another one last Wednesday, the council moved forward in lockstep to unanimously approve all action items, including approving the job description for the city administrator position and contracting with Patrick Callahan to search for this individual.
“The city administrator position is sometimes comparable to a company CEO. They make decisions about employees, major budget items and customers,” Callahan said. “You hire the CEO to oversee the operation.”
At a workshop on Sept. 5, Patrick Callahan met with city council members to explain the search process. Callahan has dedicated his professional life to municipal government and has 44 years of experience in that field. He has served as a city administrator, city manager and a municipal consultant throughout Iowa and since 2013 has matched 17 city administrators to cities.
During a two-hour presentation and discussion during the workshop, Callahan outlined the hiring process and stressed the importance of finding the right fit for the community. The process begins with the city council approving the ordinance establishing the position. Then, Callahan will schedule initial meetings to learn about the community’s specific needs and set concrete dates for the hiring process. After filtering through candidates, Callahan will call a handful of them for a Skype interview with the city, and the top candidates after the Skype interviews will travel to the community for formal interviews. Contracting with Callahan throughout this process will not exceed $13,840.00.
Monday, Colfax voted that Callahan guide the city through the search process. They formally began the search when the city council offered the first reading of City Ordinance number 623 authorizing the creation of the city administrator position. The council then voted to approve the description of the position, which includes supervising and advising the mayor and city council on all aspects of city government except the police and library departments.
In addition to beginning the search for Colfax’s first city administrator, the city council resolved the property sale regarding the exchange of the city yard waste site located east of the old Monroe Table Company on North Walnut Street for the soccer fields owned by George Dickerson. At last month’s meeting, the council offered the first public hearing on the sale and confirmed that the sale constituted an exchange of real property, not currency. During the public hearing last month, Doug Garrett of the Quarry Springs Park board voiced his concern that the exchange might inhibit the Red Bridge installation project in the park. When the council opened the floor for the second public hearing, no citizen, including Garret who sat in the audience, asked for clarification or expressed apprehension over the exchange. After closing discussion, the council voted unanimously to approve the sale.
As the meeting clipped along, the council unanimously approved a resolution closing West Howard Street for the annual Halloween Walk on October 23 between 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The council also voted to reschedule next month’s city council meeting for Tuesday, Nov. 13 in observance of Veteran’s Day on Monday, Nov. 12. November’s meeting will still begin at 7:00 at the fire station as usual.
Contact Phoebe Marie Brannock at 641-792-3121 ext. 6547 or firstname.lastname@example.org