Meeting Notice: Special City Council Work Session set for 6pm on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Meeting Notice: Special City Council Work Session set for 6pm on Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Riverdale City Council will hold a special work session on Tuesday evening, May 26th at 6pm. Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the meeting will be held virtually as a GoToMeeting web conference.

Since the meeting deals with personnel matters and all candidates for the position in question have requested the search committee meet in closed session to keep their identities confidential, a portion of this meeting will take place under Chapter 24.5 (i) of the Code of the State of Iowa and the online public meeting will be terminated shortly after the meeting starts so the Council will be able to go into closed session.

 

Attending the Meeting Online

The general public is able to attend the first part of the meeting (approximately 5-10 minutes), but then the meeting will be moved into closed session in a private chat and the online meeting for the general public will be ended (since we are only able to host one meeting at a time). Once the closed session has wrapped up, the Council will resume its meeting in public, ending shortly before the regular Council Meeting at 7pm.

Please note: a summary of what was discussed at this work session (both public and closed parts) will be discussed in detail during the Council Meeting at 7pm.


 

Agenda

The items and issues to be discussed as part of this meeting include:

Presentations to the City Council by the Search Consultant:

  • A review of key dates in the interview and selection process.
  • A review of the candidates for the city administrator/city clerk position.
  • A review of typical questions asked during the interview process.
  • A review of packet information required for successful interviews.

Serving as the Search Committee, the City Council will discuss the following:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of candidates for the position under consideration.
  • Available dates for online and in-person interviews.
  • Questions for candidates.
  • Ranking of candidates supplied by the Search Consultant.
  • Discussion of items to be included in the draft of the proposed employment agreement.

In addition to a review of candidates, the Search Committee will also:

  • Review questions from the Search Consultant on the deputy clerk position
  • Discuss items for the information packet to candidates

A copy of the full agenda can be found here.

Meeting minutes will be posted (without identifying information of individual candidates) following their approval at the following meeting of the City Council on June 9, 2020.

Riverdale continues its search for a new manager.

Riverdale continues its search for a new manager.

The City Council, acting as the search committee charged with finding and recruiting two, full-time staff positions, have set an aggressive timetable with the help of consultant Pat Callahan and already have seen some applications come in. In a recent email to the committee, Mr. Callahan asked for their feedback on an “information packet” about the City and the position (of city administrator) he could share with candidates.

You can review a copy of that packet by clicking here.

“We’ll see what kind of candidates are interested in the position in the next week,” explained Mayor Mike Bawden who has been serving as an interim city manager on a voluntary basis for the City since the departure of interim City Administrator, Lisa Kotter. “There’s a lot to do and the Council is committed to finding the right person, so it will be interesting to see how things go for the next week or so.”

Once a city administrator (possibly a Clerk or a City Administrator/Manager or a combination of the two) is recruited, candidates for a deputy clerk or assistant will be evaluated.

The original deadline for hiring the staff and having them in place at City Hall was July 1. The new schedule comes very close with the first person starting in July and the second in late July or early August.

The search for a new City Administrator/Clerk gets underway on Tuesday

The search for a new City Administrator/Clerk gets underway on Tuesday

Members of the Riverdale City Council meet with consultant Pat Callahan Tuesday night at 7pm to discuss the details, timing and cost of conducting a search for a new Administrator/Clerk and a Deputy Clerk to work 5 days a week at City Hall with the start of the new fiscal year (in July). Council Members will be serving in the role of search and selection committee since hiring the clerk is the purview of a city’s council. Council Member Kelly Krell is the chair of the search committee.

The agenda is open to the public and will be held online using the City of Riverdale’s GoToMeeting account.

Attending the Meeting Online

To attend the meeting on Tue, May 5, 2020 (from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM), just join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smart phone by clicking on the button or this link. You can access the meeting by using the access code: 418-666-325

Not comfortable joining online? You can dial into the meeting with your phone, just call: (224) 501-3412 and use the access code (273-231-733) when prompted.

Please Note: It’s highly recommended you get the GoToMeeting app and install it on your computer before the meeting starts so you’ll be ready when we begin.

Just Click Here to download the app.

Agenda

According to this agenda, prepared by the Consultant, it looks like the committee will have a full meeting:

A.  Call to order

B.  General Overview of Work Session 
     1.     City Administrator Search Process
     2.     Purpose of Work Session
     3.     Update on preliminary steps in the search process
               *City Administrator ordinance review – any changes?
               *City Administrator job description review – any changes?
               *City Council goals & objectives – need to review?
               *Development of position and community profile – gathering information

C.  Time Tables for Search Process – Subject to Council Review & Approval – Option 2 
     1.     Review the key dates for Mayor & Council
               *One on One Meetings – May 6th & 7th  
               *Council Work Session – to Review Resumes – Tuesday, June 16th – 7:00 PM
               *Skype or Zoom Interviews – Wednesday, June 24th – 5:00 PM 
               *Interview the Finalists – Saturday, July 11th – 8:00 AM
     2.     Council consensus on dates & times
     3.     Candidates will be advised of time table in position profile
     4.     Review of tentative time table for deputy city clerk position

D.  Consultant Interviews with Mayor, & City Council Members & Department Heads – May 6th & 7th – Select a Time

 E.  Citizen Involvement in Search Process
     1.     Varies from City to City
     2.     Need to consider the confidentiality of the applicants

 F.  Community & Position Profile  
     1.     Purpose of profile
     2.     General overview of content
     3.     Council consensus on content
     4.     Placement on City of Riverdale  website
     5.     Sending to potential candidates by email

G.  General Overview of Wage & Benefit Package 
     1.     Council consensus on salary range
     2.     Council consensus on benefit package parameters
     3.     Reimbursement of candidates’ expenses to travel to Riverdale for an interview

H.  Advertisement of Position 
     1.     Content of advertisement – Council approval
     2.     Publications and websites
     3.     ICMA Website 
     4.     Iowa League of Cities Website 
     5.     IAMU Website
     6.     Authorization to proceed

I.  Confidentiality of Candidates’ Information 
     1.     Confidentiality during early stages of process.
     2.     Request for Closed Session Form –Signed by Finalists 
     3.     Release of Names of Finalists to the Public – The Council’s Decision
               * Candidates’ consent to release their name to news media
               * If the names of  the finalists are  to be released – Candidates are so advised 
                 (and allowed to withdraw)
               * Consultant’s experience regarding the release of names

 J.  Consultant Updates during Search Process 
     1.     Phone calls to Mayor and City Administrator
     2.     Written reports to Mayor & City Council sent by e-mail
     3.     Welcome to contact us at anytime

K.  Screening of Candidates by Mayor & City Council Members 
     1.     Consultant reviews and ranks resumes
     2.     Cover letters & resumes made available to Mayor & Council for review
     3.     Mayor & Council members review and rank the  candidates
     4.     Composite score determines who is selected for skype or zoom interviews

L.  City Council’s Next Work Session 
     1.     Review of the position and community profile
     2.     Review and approval of advertisement

M.  Final Comments and Questions

N.  Adjourn

 Support Documentation

The packet of information provided to the search committee by the consultant, can be found here. An outline of the timeline, sample questionnaires and more can be found in a different document (click here).

We’re looking for help this summer … internship, anyone?

We’re looking for help this summer … internship, anyone?

The City of Riverdale is looking for a college student interested in accounting, finance, public administration or business. Our summer, administrative intern position pays in both experience and cold, hard cash.

Okay, well maybe a little more experience than cash …

“We’re hoping to find an energetic, college-aged student who is interested in learning more about how cities and governments work – and, at the same time, help us wrangle some pretty big projects we’ve got on the slate for the summer,” explained Mayor Mike Bawden. The mayor explained he had pulled together a rather lengthy list of projects – ranging from conducting a community-wide survey of residents to helping put together a long-range financial plan for the city.

The position pays $12/hour and is limited to no more than 21 hours of work per week.

Interested applicants should send an introductory email to the mayor no later than noon on Friday, May 8th. In the email, applicants are asked to provide their name, phone number and a brief summary of what interests them about working in municipal government. A decision will be made and an offer extended by Tuesday, May 12th.

City staffing issues take main stage

City staffing issues take main stage

Earlier this year, the City Council met for a goal-setting session and identified the need to improve the responsiveness of the City to the needs of its residents as a top priority. One significant change that would need to be made would be to increase the number of hours a week City Hall was open to the public and, at the same time, increase the number of hours City Staff were available to work on a variety of issues and projects.

About a month later, Interim City Administrator, Lisa Kotter, announced she was taking a full-time position with the City of Eldridge – bringing these staffing changes to the forefront and influencing the City Council to step up the process of searching and selecting a new, full-time administrator (either a City Administrator, City Clerk or combination of the two) as well as a second person to serve as a full-time deputy.

At Tuesday’s City Council Meeting (04/14), the Council will decide whether or not to increase the budget for hiring consultant Pat Callahan to assist in the search and selection process. The goal is to have both new positions filled by the start of the next fiscal year in July.

What’s Happening at City Hall Now?

Even though Ms. Kotter continues to provide some assistance with Riverdale city issues – with the knowledge and agreement of Eldridge City Officials – Mayor Mike Bawden has stepped in temporarily to keep a number of different projects moving forward at City Hall in the interim. His latest Administrative Report identifies thirty-one different projects currently in-work at the City and it’s likely that number will continue to grow.

In addition to these various projects, the mayor, deputy clerk and maintenance person are all working at better defining the work currently being done by each, documenting processes and brainstorming ways to work “smarter” and not just “harder.”

“We’ve already started identifying ways to make it easier to create, file and find documents related to all of the various projects we take on every year as a city,” explained the mayor. “Document management has been an issue here for years and between the recent IT upgrade and the additional capabilities our external vendors bring to the table, we should see a significant improvement in the City’s response time for records on everything from Council Meeting Minutes to sewer lateral connections.”

But improvements go way beyond how paper is being handled by the City. A new work order process for maintenance projects, a system of double-checking any purchase made over $250 and improved reports to the City Council for both maintenance and fire department activity are all just the tip of the ice berg.

“We’re working on reviewing and re-inventing almost every process that’s existed at City Hall for the last 60 years,” explained the mayor. “As a result, we’re finding small savings here and there that, over the course of the year, are likely to add up to some significant savings.”

“I look forward to sharing more of that information with residents at our next Town Hall meeting on April 26th.”

IT system upgraded at City Hall

IT system upgraded at City Hall

Things are starting to move a little faster inside City Hall thanks to a switch made to fiber optic service and an overhaul of the City’s computer network.

“We’ve been working out the details for this IT Upgrade for months,” said Mayor Mike Bawden. “But it wasn’t until we had completed a diagnostic review of the City’s network that we realized how urgently we needed to address this issue.”

That review showed the computer network and workstations at City Hall were out-dated and in need of re-configuration. The plan, developed with the help of IT consultancy, Twin State Tech Services, included the purchase and installation of a new server; new data back-up protocols; better utilization of the City’s digital archival system (LaserFiche); new workstations for the mayor and deputy clerk as well as a third, auxiliary workstation which will be used by the City’s maintenance person (as well as others); VPN access points for the mayor, city administrator and BFA (the accounting firm retained by the City); encrypted laptops for members of the City Council so they can work and correspond from home; and a switch to broadband, fiber optic service.

The upgrade was one of the projects identified as a priority by the City Council and will be paid for with funds from the General Fund Surplus. On-going maintenance costs and a replacement cost accrual will be part of the City’s operating budget going forward.

“This is an important first step,” explained the mayor. “We still need to finish evaluating the state of the computers in the fire department which, honestly, look to be about as out-of-date as those in our administrative offices. As we add new technology, like the Knox Boxes we just authorized purchasing and the new radios provided by the county, we have to make sure our computers are able to talk to them and make our department more efficient.”

A second phase, technology upgrade will be developed for review by the City Council later this year. That upgrade will likely include necessary modifications to the fire department’s computer network and installing a video projection system in the Community Room. 

City staff expectations and qualifications discussion set for Sunday

City staff expectations and qualifications discussion set for Sunday

The search committee designated by the City Council will be meeting in Council Chambers at 2pm on Sunday to discuss whether or not a search consultant should be retained to conduct a search for the two, full-time positions planned to start on July 1 (at the beginning of our next fiscal year). In addition to that discussion, the committee will also discuss the titles, roles, responsibilities and job descriptions for those positions.

The meeting is open to the public and will be chaired by the head of the search committee, Council Member Kelly Krell.

City staff expectations and qualifications discussion set for Sunday

Public intake session on City Staffing scheduled for Monday, March 2 at 6pm

The City Council has scheduled a public intake session to hear citizen comments concerning staffing levels, duties, costs and hours of operation to start July 1. The session is scheduled for Monday, March 2nd at 6pm at City Hall.

The agenda for the meeting follows:

PUBLIC INTAKE SESSION:
RE: CITY HALL STAFFING AND OPERATIONS
Riverdale City Hall, 110 Manor Drive
Community Room

DATE:    Monday, March 2, 2020
TIME:    6:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M.

THIS MEETING IS A PUBLIC INTAKE SESSION FOR THE SEARCH COMMITTEE FORMED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF RIVERDALETHE PURPOSE OF THE MEETING IS TO GATHER INPUT FROM RESIDENTS CONCERNING THE CITY’S GENERAL OPERATIONS AND STAFFING LEVELS AS OF JULY 1, 2020.

Agenda:

Review of Agenda

Presentation of challenges facing City Hall

Recap of Council Member research and feedback

Outline of possible solutions

Comments/Questions from the Public

Adjourn

An official version of the agenda can be viewed on the public notice bulletin boards in the City or in staff offices at City Hall during regular business hours.

Council Member Anthony Heddlesten featured in the QC Times!

Council Member Anthony Heddlesten featured in the QC Times!

Council Member, Anthony Heddlesten, and his flood-related work for the US Army Corps of Engineers was featured in Sunday’s Quad-City Times. The story was written by Alma Gaul who has covered Riverdale before.

We all knew Anthony was a busy guy, but until Alma profiled the work he was doing for the USACOE, we had no idea:

At any given time at the Corps, Heddlesten might be working on seven to 10 projects in various stages. The feasibility stage includes information gathering and meetings, then design and construction.

Projects he has undertaken include building a 24-acre island in the Illinois River at Peoria that served two purposes — dredging out a silted-in area behind a dam and creating a place for plants and wildlife. Others were stabilizing a sewage lagoon in Matherville, Ill., and a bridge over the Cedar River near Rochester, Iowa.

And there is plenty of opportunity for advancement. Already Heddlesten is section chief of the engineering section (in the design branch of the engineering and construction division of the Rock Island District).

Riverdale is lucky to have Anthony on its City Council and as a member of the community. Congratulations on the excellent story, Anthony!

(P.S. – If you have a neighbor or family member you think should be profiled, let us know. We’d love to share more news about other Riverdale residents both on our website and with our friends in the media.)

Lisa Kotter lands full-time job as Eldridge Administrator

Lisa Kotter lands full-time job as Eldridge Administrator

At a special session of the Eldridge City Council, that body approved an agreement with Lisa Kotter to serve as that city’s City Administrator. According to sources who understood the council’s reasoning, it was Ms. Kotter’s financial and utility experience that made the biggest impression on them. Eldridge has seen explosive expansion over the past few years and has the highest growth rate in the Iowa Quad Cities.

The move comes as Riverdale was considering a more permanent relationship with Ms. Kotter for a similar position.

“It’s a bummer to lose someone I thought would be of great benefit to the City of Riverdale,” said Mayor Mike Bawden. “But I understand how the Eldridge job would appeal to Lisa. They’re great people and the city is poised for tremendous growth. There’s a much longer and larger career opportunity for the right city administrator out there – and I have every reason to believe Lisa is up to the challenge and pace.”

“The question is: Is Eldridge ready for Lisa Kotter?” he added.

“She’s high energy and, as she proved to us in just the 2 months she’s been working at Riverdale, she’s able to hit the ground running and make a difference on day one. Eldridge is very lucky to have her.”

What’s next for Riverdale?

According to the mayor, Ms. Kotter will continue working with Riverdale through the end of February and thanks to discussions with both Ms. Kotter and officials from Eldridge, Lisa will be allowed to complete her original engagement with Riverdale (working on the City’s FY21 budget) and a few other administrative projects currently in-work as long as her service is provided outside of her regular office hours.

“Is it an ideal arrangement?” Mayor Bawden asked. “No. But we just weren’t able to move as quickly as we needed to in order for things to go Riverdale’s way, so we’ll have to live with the consequences.”

The Mayor explained that the Riverdale City Council will still hold their closed session scheduled for Tuesday’s City Council meeting – but rather than approve the employment agreement with Ms. Kotter as originally intended, they will be discussing what kind of compensation arrangement with a new city administrator would be deemed to be appropriate as well as the scope of recruitment search needed to find a qualified candidate.

Council agrees to extend Administrator Kotter’s hours through the month of February

Council agrees to extend Administrator Kotter’s hours through the month of February

At Tuesday evening’s meeting, the City Council agreed to extend the hours allowed under Interim City Administrator, Lisa Kotter’s consulting contract to 40 hours per week through February. The additional hours are necessary given the ambitious goals and objectives set forth at the Council’s work session on January 5th.

As part of the resolution passed at last night’s meeting, the mayor is expected to work out the details of a full-time employment contract and transition plan with Administrator Kotter for review and consideration by the City Council in February. If things go according to plan and the proposed employment agreement is accepted by the Council, Administrator Kotter’s new employment arrangement would take effect March 1.