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The Vandalia City Council is right to begin the process of filling its city administrator position after operating for about 4½ years without one.
Since the position became vacant in 2010, Mayor Rick Gottman has stepped in to perform many of the duties formerly done by the city administrator. Also helping fill the void has been executive secretary LaTisha Paslay.
But 4 ½ years is enough. The city has benefited from Gottman’s willingness to put in nearly full-time hours for the part-time mayoral position. And Paslay has taken on new responsibilities. Their efforts are admirable, and they helped the city weather some tough economic times.
Now, however, it’s time to operate the city government as it’s set up to be run – with a full-time, professionally trained city administrator and a part-time mayor. That’s the form of government that we’ve had since 1997.
The new administrator also will be responsible for the city’s economic development efforts. Those were formerly were handled by another full-time person, but the council voted in 2011 to eliminate that position as a part of its budget-cutting efforts.
The council’s decision to resume its search for a city administrator is the right thing to do. When a qualified person is found, it will precipitate a shakeup in the duty assignments as they’ve evolved during the past several years. But it will get the city back on track with the type of government it should’ve had all along.