AUBURN – The Auburn City Council is exploring the idea of establishing an economic development and city administrator position.
Mayor Scott Kudrna said the city is assessing whether there is a consensus in the city to pursue the administrative position.
He invited representatives of the Nebraska City/County Management Association to Monday’s meeting to introduce the issues.
Nebraska City City Administrator Grayson Path, Nebraska City Area EDC Director Dan Mauk and former Elkhorn City Administrator Don Eikmeier addressed the council.
Eikmeier said a city administrator is not a miracle worker.
Eikmeier: “What needs to happen, if an administrator is hired, the mayor and council need to define their priorities. What are your top three needs in this community and If you will work on them the next three to five years.”
Mayor Kudrna asked Monday if any council members would like to serve on a committee to look into it and received a positive response from Councilwoman Katy Billings.
Currently, the Auburn Development Council relies on volunteers interested in community betterment. The ADC operates the website https://growauburnne.com.
Its chairperson, Stephanie Fisher, started work last spring as the Waverly city administrator.
Her job was as a manager of Pizza Hut, but she was also past president of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce and member of the Downtown Revitalization Group.
Eikmeier said the ability to have working relationships with the various city offices, the business community, industrial prospects and the public is vital to the success of the job. He advised Auburn not to move forward with the position, if there is substantial opposition.
Nebraska City City Administrator Grayson Path said it’s important for the city administrator to have a well-defined job description, so that he can be best assist policy makers.
Path: “What an administrative brings to the table, if you hire the right person, is an amount of professionalism and a person that is trained in certain skills and in efficient and coordination.”
Eikmeier said Auburn would need to be sure the person fits in with the community and his or her family would be happy living there. He said it would be better to have a separate city administrator and economic developer, but said many small towns combine the job descriptions.
Nebraska City has a city administration and a separate administrator for the utilities.