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Keokuk Getting Serious About Administrator


The idea of hiring a city administrator in Keokuk appears to be picking up steam.

The city has operated under a style of government with a full-time mayor and a city council for years.

It hired Odis Jones as its first administrator in late 2007 to work with then-mayor Dave Gudgel and the city council, but Jones left after only a few months on the job.

The city council has talked about hiring another administrator many times since, including at its most recent workshop, but has yet to take action.

That changed last week, when alderman asked current Mayor Tom Marion to put together a timeline for completing the hiring.

7th Ward Alderwoman Susan Dunek says this is not an easy process, especially leading into the 2015 city election.

“Well there are a lot of things that have to fall into place and what you would like to be able to do is go into the next mayoral election knowing what the status is intended.”

Marion has said he will not seek re-election and the city’s finance director and city clerk are expected to retire soon, so an administrator could pick up some of those duties.

Before making a decision, the city council also wants to review the job description and hiring process from 2007 as well as the pros and cons of a city administrator versus a city manager.

If Keokuk went with a city manager, it would have to change its current style of government, which requires a vote of the people.  The hiring of a city administrator does not require a public vote.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.