Friday, March 23, 2012

Sun Valley slogs through hiring process

Mayor defends Egger appointment, continues search for permanent administrator


By REBECCA MEANY
Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley's search for a city administrator continues, as City Council members on Monday are set to review the city administrator hiring process, write a job description and discuss which recruitment firms should be involved.

"They can't start a search without a job description," Councilman Nils Ribi said at a March 15 meeting.

"I think we have an adequate description now," said Mayor Dewayne Briscoe. "It just has to be tweaked ... It has to be reaffirmed, the responsibility to the mayor that this person has."

A salary will be determined depending on the job description.

The last city administrator was hired in 2008 at a base annual salary of $110,000.

The process so far has been bumpy, with some council members upset about the mayor's creation of an interim executive assistant to the mayor position and his hiring of Virginia Egger to fill it.

"I'm overwhelmed by the authority that has been given to her by you," said Councilman Franz Suhadolnik. "I'm also appalled that she's been put in a position where council has no oversight over her."

Councilman Bob Youngman echoed that sentiment.

"Prior to the formation of this new position, the council had some level of oversight to the performance of the city administrator," he said.

Youngman said Egger is operating as a city administrator but without the council's having any authority over her because of the new, interim position.

"We don't want to see that be the case for very long," he said. "Expediency [in hiring], in my mind, is important here. The reason is that there's an uproar."

The mayor may have overlooked another applicant, who submitted a letter of interest and résumé for the interim job.

Briscoe said he experienced email problems at the time and may have not have seen it or may have been remiss in following up with the applicant.

"The most important thing of all is Virginia Egger doing her job," he said. "The impression that the city is not functioning as it should be functioning is erroneous."

Youngman said he was concerned that the other applicant was not brought to the council's attention.

"I would hope that going forward, given the fact that email communication is a reality, that they need to be attended to," he said. "I just want to express my personal concern that we didn't potentially have another candidate to look at."

A council meeting on the city administrator position as well as a discussion of council priorities is scheduled for Monday, March 26, at 4 p.m.

Rebecca Meany: rmeany@mtexpress.com




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