Finance Committee recommends firm to search for new city administrator
GovHR would charge $19,500
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Rhinelander’s Finance, Wage and Salary Committee is recommending to the full City Council that it approve spending $19,500 to hire a recruitment company to select the next full-time city administrator.
Interim city administrator Keith Kost, who has held the position for a year and indicated he would like to step down this summer, presented the committee at Tuesday’s meeting with proposals from two companies interested in recruiting a new administrator.
The firm previously used by the city to hire an administrator, the Oshkosh-based Public Administration Associates (PAA), had the lower total cost of $9,350 – $8,000, plus $750 for expenses and $600 for advertising. The company Kost urged the committee to select – GovHR, based in Northbrook, Ill. – offered its services for $19,500 – $13,000, plus $4,000 for expenses and $2,500 for advertising.
Though GovHR would be $10,150 more expensive, Kost stated that company has a larger recruitment network than PAA, maintains a current database on city administrators and would contact employed people to ask them to take the job in job in Rhinelander, and has better “due diligence” with interviewing candidates before bringing them to Rhinelander.
Given the last full-time city administrator hired with the assistance of PAA, Kristina Aschenbrenner, lasted only a year before being terminated on a majority vote of the City Council, Kost pointed out the cheapest price is not always the best way to go. Finance Committee members Mark Pelletier, Sherrie Belliveau and Dawn Rog agreed they were disappointed with the service PAA had provided the city.
Kost further noted he found the recruitment material of GovHR to be more professionally done, GovHR was more responsive to returning a call and more professional, and if the person selected as the next city administrator leaves within two years, GovHR would do an additional search within six months for only the cost of expenses.
Though the city budgeted only $15,000 to recruit a new city administrator, Kost said money is available in the salary line of the administrative budget of $90,667, being that his salary as a part-time administrator for a half year is $25,500.
The Finance Committee’s recommendation is being forwarded to the full City Council for final approval at Monday’s meeting.