By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (October 18,2016) – The Stephenville City Council voted Tuesday to authorize Mayor Kenny Weldon to execute a contact with Wayne McKethan to serve as interim city administrator.
The motion received the support of all but one council member. Alan Nix, Place 6, declined to explain his vote of opposition when asked about his dissent following the meeting.
Council members Carla Trussell, Place 2, and Brady Pendleton, Place 4, were not present.
McKethan, a former Granbury city manager who has decades of experience in the banking industry, will begin working for Stephenville Wednesday.
It appears Allen’s contributions to the city administrator’s office could lead to a long-term appointment, as the council also voted Tuesday to create a new deputy city administrator role to support the city’s top staffer.
The job description for the deputy role, which was provided to the council by Allen as part of his interim duties. It states that one of the city’s departmental directors would function in a dual role, serving as deputy city administrator and, in Allen’s case, director of community services. The city administrator will be responsible for filling the deputy position.
Prior to supporting the measure, repeated concern was expressed by a number of the council members present, including Doug Svien, Place 3, and Sherry Zachary, Place 7, about adding a new position to the city budget if the city administrator determined they needed a full-time assitant that did not have the responsibility of managing another department.
But, Mayor Kenny Weldon made it clear that the council was simply approving a job description and not the hiring of another executive staffer. He said any attempt to fill a director position, which includes the new deputy city administrator role, would require council approval.
Allen said while the position is a new one for the city, it had been previously discussed. He said the position would relieve the city administrator and allow that individual to make long-term planning and economic development related activities their primary focus.
In addition to departmental director duties, the deputy administrator would be responsible for operational oversight of assigned departments; addressing citizen complaints; acting as administrative project manager; and providing assistance with inter-governmental relations, employee discipline, strategic planning, policy development and more.
The deputy would also function as city administrator during absence or leave.
Finally, Allen said the recommended pay range for the position, based on current pay in other cities of comparable size, was $109,00 – 125,000 per year.