Mayor Ron Blum received permission from the St. Clair Board of Aldermen last week to start searching for an assistant city administrator.
The individual would work under current City Administrator Rick Childers and would be responsible for various office- and city-related responsibilities.
“There have been times key personnel finds other employment or retires,” Blum said. “This always leaves the city in a precarious situation, and it puts us behind.
“I’m also aware that Mr. Childers may retire in a short period of time. I’d like to bring in an assistant to learn the position so when Mr. Childers does retire, there is no lack of continuity.”
Childers, who was hired in January 2011, is 63 years old. He told The Missourian that his intent will be to retire in the spring of 2015.
“We have some time for a well-managed search process and quite a bit of training both within the actual administration of the city and also in a variety of departments,” he said.
Childers replaced Jim Arndt, who resigned in November 2010. And even though Childers had city administration experience, it still took him a while to get up to speed on St. Clair issues.
That is what Blum is hoping to avoid through hiring an assistant.
“I’m asking the board for us to be able to start the process of hiring an assistant city administrator,” the mayor said.
Blum, Childers, the aldermen and city department heads have been working on putting together St. Clair’s 2014 budget through a pair of workshops. Sessions were conducted in August and September with a third scheduled in November.
In the general fund, an assistant city administrator salary has been included at $55,000 annually.
“That’s an estimate,” Childers said during the second budget workshop. “The actual salary will depend on qualifications.”
The actual salary range is about $44,000 to $55,000 a year with benefits also included.
As city administrator, Childers is making $73,869 in 2013.
The aldermen unanimously approved the search to begin.
During its Sept. 23 meeting, the aldermen approved placing Court Clerk Cindy Schmitt in administrative leave until Oct. 31. The board went into an executive session after regular business was finished to discuss personnel.
When it returned, Childers said the discussion behind closed doors centered on Schmitt. He said the leave is for health reasons.
Police Chief Bill Hammack also requested and received permission to start the process of hiring a police officer. The position is not a new one, but a replacement.