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|FIRST ON WGIL: Knoxville City Council Exploring Possible City Administrator
|FIRST REPORTED 8:00 a-m 11/10/09 Alternative forms of government got the the most attention during a special Knoxville City Council meeting.
Seven of the city's eight alderman got together in the old courthouse Monday night to hear retired Normal City Administrator Dave Anderson discuss the advantages of municipalities hiring a full-time city administrator, like what Monmouth has.
Knoxville Mayor Terry Pool invited Anderson, who is with the Illinois City/County Management Association's Range Rider program. Range Riders like Anderson are retired local government management professionals who help municipalities find an administrator if that's the direction they want to go.
Pool tells WGIL he just wanted to give the city council some food for thought. "Just the very early stages, just some different ideas to run by the council members, some ideas for them to think about for future considerations down the road possibly," Pool said. "It's nothing set in stone or anything, just very initial stages is all."
One of the sticking points is the salaries paid to city administrators. Anderson says a city with a population similar to Knoxville's, Forsythe, which is located near Decatur but has its own mall and a heavy retail base, is planning to hire a city administrator for $80,000 a year. That drew a laugh from Alderman Lester Naslund, who said an administrator isn't going to get $80,000 a year from Knoxville.
Other aldermen, like Tom Worden and Jim Eastwood, appeared more willing to consider a city administrator. One alderman posed the question: can the city afford not to hire an administrator? Another expressed concerns that if the city doesn't start bringing in revenue, taxes will go up.
Pool says a city administrator's efforts would be focused on economic development, grant writing and finances. Knoxville had a city administrator 10 years ago.
"He worked out very well," Pool said. "He did have some opposition from a couple of elected officials at that time, (and) had they been more cooperative towards him we'd have a different Knoxville today."
The mayor says the matter will come up again at a future city council meeting after aldermen have had a chance to think about it for a while.
Dave Anderson speaks to the city council during a special meeting Monday night.
(WGIL News Story and Photo by Mike Perry)
|11 10 09 by Newsroom
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