City to add administrator position

If all goes according to the plan of the city council, the City of

Hillsboro will soon have a new position: city administrator.

?Hillsboro is continuing to grow and we have a city clerk and a city

superintendent who are both overworked,? said Mayor Delores Dalke.

Discussions about adding the position have been going on at various

levels for several years, according to Dalke.

She said they needed a person to manage the details and look into

grant opportunities for the city.

?It?s very, very difficult and it will take a lot of the pressure, we

believe, off of the council and particularly off of myself if we have

an executive who will be watching a lot of the things that I?m doing

now as a volunteer,? Dalke said.

Some of those things would include going to grant workshops and

driving around town to find out what parts of the the city should be

included in grant applications.

The city has signed an agreement with the Kansas League of

Municipalities to create the full-time position. The league will help

the city throughout the process of creating the position and then

hiring someone.

Jennifer Finley, of the KLM, attended a work session with the council

to explain what they would need to do.

Council members were given sample job descriptions to look at and the

league is getting more information for the council on cities of

similar size so they will have an idea what the salary should be.

The league also will advertise the position on behalf of the city and

do the initial screenings of resumes.

The council hopes to have someone hired this year, but they will have

to figure out where the money will come from.

?We definitely want to get this in place so that when we budget for

2001 the money is available, but we are hoping we find the funds prior

to that so we can actually hire prior to the first of the year,? Dalke


The council has not set a deadline for hiring someone. It depends on

when the job description is completed and a salary is determined.

Dalke expected to have the rest of the information back from the

council members early this week on what they want in the job

description. The factors will include the education and background

required. Once the information is completed, it will be given to


After the job description and salary have been determined, the council

will advertise the position.

Dalke said she was told some communities have to go through three

rounds of advertising before they find a person with whom they feel


She said the position they are creating is in addition to what the

city already has.

?We?re not eliminating any position,? Dalke said. ?That has to be made

really clear. We?re not eliminating the city superintendent position.

We?re not eliminating the city clerk?s position. This is an additional


According to Dalke, Hillsboro is almost the only community its size in

the state that doesn?t have a city administrator.

But a city administrator is not a new position for the city.

In the 1970s and early ?80s, Dalke said, the city had an


But at the time, the council wanted to have more control over what was

going on and eliminated the position in 1983.

At that time, they hired Johnnie Liles and gave him the title of city


?Being a citizen, I just think they weren?t finding the people they

were happy with at that time and so they decided just to eliminate the

position,? Dalke said.

?The thing is, once you hire an administrator and let him or her do

their job, you don?t have that day-to-day finger on what?s going on,?

she said.

Dalke said as long as the right person is hired, letting go of some of

the control would be no problem for her or the council.

To keep the council informed, the administrator would provide a

written and verbal report at each council meeting.

?I just think that at our rate of growth and as progressive as


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