By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (November 2, 2016) – For what is believed to be the first time in Stephenville’s history, the municipality will operate under the leadership of a pair of city administrators.
Following an executive session discussion Tuesday evening, Stephenville City Council appointed Jeremy Allen deputy city administrator. The new role means the community services director will function in a dual role.
“City administration is a career goal of mine,” Allen said Wednesday.
Allen will continue to perform departmental director duties that include oversight of staff, budgeting and management of the city’s parks and recreation department, airport, library, senior center, special events and Splashville. He was hired to serve in that capacity in December 2014.
As the search for a permanent city administrator continues, Allen will work alongside interim City Administrator Wayne McKethan who recommended him for the promotion, saying “Jeremy has shown the experience, education, and knowledge to do an excellent job in the deputy city administrator role. He has filled in as city administrator, and although my time here has been short, I have developed a real appreciation for Jeremy’s attitude, work ethic, and knowledge of issues.”
McKethan is functioning as an independent contractor after signing an agreement with the city on October 18. The contract states McKethan will be in place for at least three months and a maximum of 180 days, or about six months. He is being compensated at a rate of $14,700 per month.
Following Tuesday’s boost in responsibilities, and pay, Allen can function city administrator during absence or leave, which is something he did while Pat Bridges, who resigned last month, served as city administrator. That means in the case McKethan leaves the city without a new city administrator in place, the council will not have repeat the process of finding an interim – Allen will assume the role.
“In my two years here under Pat Bridges, I worked as acting city administrator on a few occasions,” Allen said. “These last few weeks, I have been working in the interim city administrator role and/or working closely with Mr. McKethan to help in this transition. I feel like I have a good working relationship with staff, working closely with them on multiple projects.”
At the time of his departure, Bridges said the city administrator position had been the most demanding of his various roles in public service.
In creating the deputy role, the council aims streamline city operations from the top down. In addition to departmental director duties, Allen 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.
A press release from the city stated that Public Works, Community Services, Planning and Building Services, Information Technology and Human Resources will be the responsibility of the deputy city administrator. Finance, police and fire departments will still directly report to the city administrator.
For Allen, the position upgrade essentially means working two jobs for a maximum pay boost of about $37,000.
The increased responsibility will give Allen experience that could eventually land him a city manager role. During the interim administrator search, several council members praised Allen’s work ethic and desire to climb the employment ladder.
“I have worked closely with council in my time here and like the direction they are taking us,” Allen said.
Allen earned his Bachelor of Science degree from California State University and Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. He is currently enrolled in the Texas State University Certified Public Manager Program.
He and his wife, Daphne, have three children.
“My family and I are excited about this opportunity,” Allen said. “We love Stephenville and my goal is to help make Stephenville a place where my kids will want to live when they get older. Stephenville is a great place to live and visit and hopefully I can help get the word out about our community and the great things the employees are doing to make it a better place on a daily basis.”