Marion focuses on clerk, not administrator
Marion City Council members met for nine minutes Monday and didn’t discuss hiring a new city administrator until a Record reporter asked about it at the end of the meeting.
Mayor David Mayfield said his priority was hiring a new city clerk. Former clerk Tiffany Jeffrey resigned in December, as did her husband, police chief Clinton Jeffrey, and assistant police chief Steve Janzen after an executive session during which council members discussed allegations against former administrator Mark Skiles but didn’t take any action against him.
The council voted 3-2 on Dec. 23 to fire Skiles.
Although the council expressed concern last year about not having an administrator before Skiles came on board, opting to extend former administrator Roger Holter’s time with the city, council members haven’t discussed replacing Skiles.
“Right now I think our main purpose is to get a city clerk. We need that right away,” Mayor David Mayfield told the Record during the Monday meeting.
He said a job listing was on the city’s website, but it wasn’t then or on Tuesday morning. The city had listed open positions for city clerk, police chief, assistant police chief, a police officer, a groundskeeper, and a water plant operator.
Mayfield directed Becky Makovec, who is filling is as the clerk, to add the job to the city’s website.
She did so late Tuesday.
“Tiffany had posted the jobs available before she left so I wasn’t familiar with the process,” Makovec said in an email.
She said she was awaiting approval of an ad on the Kansas League of Municipalities website. She said she hadn’t been an administrator on that account.
She also emailed the Kansas Rural Water Association to add the job listing to its website, she said.
She mentioned advertising the job on both websites during the council meeting.
Council member Zach Collett said his priority also was hiring a clerk.
“We are short-staffed at City Hall, and while Becky and Sandy are doing a fantastic job picking up the extra workload, I believe we need to find a quality candidate to reduce the extra responsibility,” he said in an interview in which he asked to see questions and submit answers by email. “The city clerk is an extremely important position to any municipality.”
City Hall is closed from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. weekdays because of staff shortage.
Council member Jerry Kline said after the meeting he thought the administrator and clerk positions both should be priorities.
“But if he’s all-right with it, I guess I am,” Kline said, alluding to Mayfield.
Council member Ruth Herbel said she “thought we would have talked about it by now.”
“We’re just kind of waiting for instructions,” she said.
Asked how he envisioned the search for a city administrator unfolding, Collett wrote “Right now I am solely focused on getting a city clerk hired. Once we have hired a city clerk, I will shift my focus to finding the right candidate to fill the role of city administrator.”
He wrote that he was “open to looking at all avenues to finding the best possible candidate to fill the city administrator role.”
“I want to see someone who is respectful, ethical, approachable, and a great leader,” Collett wrote.