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Geneva alderman delay talk to reinstate assistant city manager post

GENEVA – Acting as the Committee of the Whole, Geneva aldermen unanimously recommended to delay discussion on reinstating the assistant city administrator/director of administrative services position to Jan. 29, 2018.

In a separate, but related action, aldermen voted 7-3 to recommend accepting a report prepared by Joellen Earl, co-owner of GovHR. The report was an organizational assessment of the city's administrative functions. Earl's report included reinstating the assistant position.

Current City Administrator Stephanie Dawkins served in that position for eight years. Aldermen eliminated it in April 2016 after Dawkins was promoted to city administrator.

Its elimination “had a noticeable impact in Geneva, most notably as it relates to the human resources functions,” Earl’s report stated. “All of the employees interviewed agreed that the position was beneficial to the city and was a resource to their respective areas.”

Earl’s report also suggested a second option, where aldermen could reinstate only the position of director of administrative services.

Fourth Ward Alderman Jim Radecki said Earl’s report did not have the scope of information he thought was necessary when aldermen requested it in January.

“This is not what we had sought; it’s not what we requested as a group,” Radecki said.

Third Ward Alderman Becky Hruby said aldermen should consider the opinions of the city’s administrator and other managers, as detailed in Earl’s report, noting the assistant position existed for 10 years.

“They are – day to day – the ones running our city,” Hruby said. “I know Stephanie has made it clear that she’s got too much on her plate. I feel, ethically, we should support her and support the entire city through reinstating this position.”

Second Ward Alderman Donald Cummings said it was not that he didn’t support Dawkins. He acknowledged that “absolutely, her workload is more than it should be.”

“My problem is that assumption if the workload is too heavy, than we need to do this,” Cummings said. “I think there are choices A, B, C, D that haven’t been explored, that haven’t been drilled down into. And that’s my worry.”

The City Council will take final action on acceptance of the report.

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