County takes next step in County Administrator search



The Marion County Board of Commissioners took another big step forward in the process to secure a County Administrator in Monday’s meeting when they approved a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Executive Search Firm for the position.

The board had approved the County Administrator position in December and decided that the role will be tasked with oversight of day-to-day operations of the county in accordance with established policies and will serve as the county’s chief administrative official. County Clerk Tina Spencer who put together the document pointed out that because it is a key position and a new one, it is crucial to recruit and hire a candidate with the right skills, knowledge, experience and attitude to ensure a successful transition to this new organizational structure.

“We need an executive search firm to conduct recruitment services for this newly created position

of Marion County Administrator. The county desires to award the contract to a highly qualified and

experienced firm with a strong background in local government and City/County Administrator searches as well as in recruiting candidates to positions in the Midwest,” she said.

According to the RFP, the firm would, among other things, work with the board to develop a candidate profile; review the job requirements and ensure that the description of the duties and responsibilities is

accurate, clear, and complete; handle marketing for the position; conduct interviews and background checks, reference checks, etc; and narrow the candidate pool down to finalist candidates.

The board agreed that all proposals must include a statement of interest, a summary of relevant experience and qualifications, a statement of fees and expenses, the proposed methodology or work plan, references, work samples, a sample contract and guarantees.

The board set an estimated schedule for the RFP timeline with the reminder that if any part of this schedule is delayed, the rest of the schedule may be shifted accordingly. The RFP will be issued on May 1 opening it up for anyone to ask questions. The final date to submit written questions is May 19 by 5 p.m. Questions and requests for clarification should be directed in writing to Tina

Spencer, Marion County Clerk via email at Proposals will be due June 16 by 5 p.m. with an evaluation period/interviews from June 19 to June 30. The contract will be awarded on July 3.

The board heard from The Historic Elgin Hotel owner Tammy Ensey who wanted to ask for some help with a new idea she is working on getting going.

“We have a lot of cool things to show to folks that come from out of town. I am always hearing from our out-of-town, out-of-state and even out-of-country guests who are just in awe of our little town and county. They love all of our buildings and our outdoor areas,” said Ensey,

She went on to say that some of the comments have inspired her and a few others to come up with some ideas to offer ways for guests to explore the area more. Some of the ideas range from historic tours, waterfall tours, brewery tours, cemetery tours and more. Some of the tours include areas outside of the county but most include resources in the county.

“The first of the tours we want to offer is the historic tour and it will encompass the exploration and history of the Elgin, the library, the courthouse, the museum and our downtown buildings,” said Ensey. She said they would plan to offer the tour on both the weekends and during the weekdays and to start plans to offer the tour one-four times a month. The tour would need access to the courthouse and to the courtroom when it was not in use.

The board and Ensey discussed the topic further but agreed both would need to look into it more before making any decisions.

The board also heard from Marion Park and Lake Superintendent Isaac Hett who told them that a family who lost a loved one to an accident at the lake had proposed a roadside memorial in honor of the deceased family member. Commissioner Randy Dallke stated that while he had lost a granddaughter and understood how painful losing a loved one is, he didn’t think they should let the family place a memorial since it would lead to other families doing the same.

“Will we have to then put a sidewalk in there for people walking over to look at it?” asked Commissioner Kent Becker with a laugh.

Commissioner Jonah Gehring stated that the memorial should be allowed but should have light reflectors added to it for safety purposes.

After much discussion, it was suggested that someone talk to the family and another location be suggested in spite of the family wanting that specific location due to it being where the loved one died. The request for the memorial was denied four to one with Gehring voting for it.

In other business:

The board heard updates from Marion County Health Department Director Krista Schneider. The board voted to move forward with the plan and design of the new facility for the health department with the idea that once a design is planned out, the board will approve it. The motion passed 4-1 with Becker voting against it.

More from Laura Fowler Paulus
DEATH: John Delbert Topham
John Delbert Topham, 92, died on Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. He was...
Read More