Monday, September 27, 2010

Small Utah Town Seeking Administrator, Experience Good, Sense of Humor a Plus

American Fork is in the process of hiring a City administrator. Last Thursday night, the city council participated in round three of the selection process, in which five highly qualified finalists (out of a field of 46) were interviewed by the six of us via Skype in council chambers. We were joined in this open meeting by many of the City's department heads as well as by several members of the public who seemed to understand how much depends on this decision. The stakes are high.

The appointment is Mayor Hadfield's to make, but the council will be asked for its advice and consent. The council has not yet held its deliberations, so I cannot say very much about how the decision will be made. I can, however, share with you the questions we asked.

I shared them with my daughter, after the fact, and they made her laugh. Hysterically. Or, more to the point, we made her laugh.

"These questions reflect your personalities to a tee!" she said.

Myself, I didn't think we were all that funny. I thought our questions were insightful and incisive, bordering on the literary. I'm expecting them to figure prominently in David McCullough's forthcoming history of American Fork.

Here, see what you think.

Mayor Hadfield
  • What do you know about American Fork City? Why would you like to work for our city?
  • What do you bring to the table that makes you the best candidate for this job?
  • What would you do to increase economic development and create a business-friendly environment in American Fork?
Dale Gunther
  • What is your approach to long-range planning?
  • Tell us about your philosophy of City management.

Heidi Rodeback

  • Suppose that sales tax receipts have come in weak for the third year in a row. The council is philosophically opposed to a property tax increase. What do you recommend?
  • How do you work with an under-performing employee?
  • What importance do you place on quality of life services in municipal government such as the library, parks and recreation, and the arts?

Shirl LeBaron

  • Do you golf? Do you think municipally-owned golf courses should be privatized? What factors would you consider in your decision?
  • Can you tell us about a difficult member of the public that you have worked with and how you resolved issues with that resident?
  • Suppose that the council has given you settlement authority in a dispute with another party and that authority is not to exceed $20,000. It's five o'clock on a Friday and the deadline is just thirty minutes away. The other party just called and offered to settle for $30,000. The council is on retreat in the Uintas and can't be reached. What do you do? What factors do you consider in your decision?
Rick Storrs
  • What is the City administrator's relationship with the mayor? With the city council? With the department heads? With the public?
  • Have you ever had to discipline or counsel an employee? If so, what were the circumstances and how did you handle it?
  • What are the most important factors in employee morale?
Sherry Kramer
  • Do you have experience with grants? If so, what kind of success have you had?
  • What are your ideas for improving historic Main Street and what funding options would you support?
  • What experience do you have managing emergency services and what advancements were you instrumental in implementing?
For the why's and wherefores behind the City's decision to hire an administrator, please read Barbara Christiansen's August 4 article in the Provo Daily Herald.


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