Lisa Kotter named Interim City Administrator

Lisa Kotter named Interim City Administrator

Lisa Kotter, the consultant retained to assist the City of Riverdale with developing its FY21 budget, has now had her role and relationship with the City expanded to include picking up on the duties of City Administrator following the resignation of former City Administrator, Tim Long. Ms. Kotter has over 25 years’ experience in municipal management/administration – all with communities significantly larger than Riverdale.

Former administrator, Tim Long, has offered to spend some time with Lisa over the next few weeks to make sure she’s fully up to speed on the variety of issues he was dealing with when he turned in his resignation and to ensure a smooth transition. The hourly rates for both Ms. Kotter and Mr. Long are the same, so the long-term budget impact of the transition and engagement are expected to be minimal based on the current personnel configuration at City Hall.

“We have a lot of things to do at City Hall,” said Mayor Mike Bawden. “I’m looking forward to working with Lisa on these issues and making sure all of us – from elected officials to local residents – get the full benefit of her experience, enthusiasm and energy.”

No plans for a search for a long-term replacement in the City Administrator’s position have been announced as of yet.

“Whether this becomes a more permanent relationship depends on both parties,” said the mayor. “Right now, we’re focused on a few short-term issues that demand our attention – specifically the development of a budget for FY21 and the final review and decisions regarding the Phase 1 plat for Woods Estates of Riverdale. We’ll see where things stand after that and make some decisions then.”

City Administrator Tim Long announces retirement, effective December 3, 2019

City Administrator Tim Long announces retirement, effective December 3, 2019

City Administrator, Tim Long, submitted his notice of retirement to Mayor Mike Bawden earlier this week. His last regular day of employment will be December 3, 2019. In the letter, dated Monday, November 18, Mr. Long stated:

For the past thirty years, I have been gratified to serve as administrator for communities in Illinois and Iowa, and I have been especially proud of being chosen to serve as first-time administrator for the City of Riverdale. It has been gratifying to work with you and the other thoughtful people chosen to serve the needs and goals of the community. It has been especially satisfying to see Riverdale continue to refine its long-run goals and objectives, and manage growth and development toward better outcomes.

It is time for me to turn over those administrative tasks of Riverdale to other hands. As well, at my tender age, I have come to terms with the clear understanding that time and good health are fleeting, and the completion fo projects, and the building of important relationships call for both time and good health. Therefore, this letter constitutes my two weeks’ notice of retirement, and resignation. If you and the Council determine it to be in the best interest of the Council, that date could be advanced. Alternately, I can be available to assist you and the Council in the development of agenda items or other matters to which I could be of assistance, until December 20th, when I wish to prepare for my sons’ families return home from afar for Christmas.

Finally, I want to thank you, Mike, and the members of the City Council who have been supportive of our efforts at making Riverdale’s local government more effective, transparent, and responsive. I have gained a great deal of respect for all of you, as well as for our staff and consultants over these past two and-a-half years. I wish you well, and would be pleased to cross paths with you in the future.

The City Council will meet in an executive session at the end of the Tuesday’s City Council meeting to discuss this personnel issue and options to consider for moving forward in both the short and long-term. Decisions on immediately pressing issues and longer-range plans will be shared with the community through this website and our e-newsletter once they are clearly defined.

Resolutions reached on two lingering issues in favor of the City of Riverdale.

Resolutions reached on two lingering issues in favor of the City of Riverdale.

City Administrator, Tim Long, reports that agreements have been reached in two matters that have been on the Council agenda for the past few months:

1. An agreement with the driver of a car that took out a tree at Volunteer Park earlier this year will re-pay the City for the cost of removing the damaged tree and replacing it with a similar one. The re-payment plan extends over 24 months and is the result of a direct outreach made by the driver (who didn’t have insurance but accepted responsibility and accountability for the accident).

2. After receiving a letter from the City concerning how they were to remove the brush cleared on City property behind their home, a Deerbrook couple have agreed to repair the damage in the spring. A date certain to be confirmed in writing is expected later this week.

Should the City post audio files of its public meetings online?

Should the City post audio files of its public meetings online?

At last Tuesday’s City Council meeting (10/08/19), the mayor proposed the idea that recordings of the City’s public meetings should be available as audio files on its website. Members of the City Council didn’t all agree on whether or not that was something that should be done – and, once you look into the issue, you find there are a variety of issues that need to be addressed.

There are some technological considerations that have to be taken into account. Will transcripts have to be provided as well as the recordings? Are there any state guidelines about what needs to be made available with regard to files, online players, etc.?

And, of course, meetings will probably need to run a little differently, too. If an audio recording is made of a meeting, attendees (and the chair) will need to remember to allow only one person to speak at a time – and the amount of time allowed for people to opine (currently unrestricted except in the most extreme cases) will probably need to be limited.

Feelings on the Council ranged from: “If people really want to know what goes on in these meetings, they should be here” to “the more transparency, the better.”

What do you think?

Let us know in the comments section, below.

(Updated) City begins search for a new City Clerk.

(Updated) City begins search for a new City Clerk.

(Updated 10-10-19) After reviewing preliminary discussions with a consultant to assist in the search and selection of a new City Clerk for Riverdale, the mayor and council have agreed to delay a formal search until after the start of the new calendar year.

Cheryl Channon, City Council

For now, the City will proceed with identifying and hiring someone to fill the role of Treasurer – another of the positions currently filled on a part-time basis by Mr. Fullerlove. On Tuesday, October 8, the City Council approved the placement of this ad for the position and City Administrator, Tim Long, suggested that he thought it was possible to have a preliminary slate of candidates for review and discussion by the Council at its next meeting on 10/22.

With the decision made by Finance Committee Chair, Council Member Cheryl Channon, to not run for re-election, the Council agreed that they hoped most of the difficult budget work could be completed before Cheryl’s departure at the end of the year. The person fulfilling the Treasurer duties will need to work extensively with Council Member Channon, City Administrator Long and the mayor/mayor elect to make sure this deadline gets met.

(Original Story: 09-15-19) City Administrator, Tim Long, laid out the city’s general plan for finding a replacement City Clerk (to replace Ron Fullerlove who resigned on August 22nd to become the county administrator in Mercer County, IL).

“Ron had been instrumental in helping the City get on top of its financial situation and establish a more proactive approach to managing our tax levies and expenditures,” said Mayor Mike Bawden. “We now need to find someone who will view the clerk’s position in Riverdale as an opportunity for growth – and that may require us to make some changes to the ways we’ve been doing things over past practices.”

After conducting some initial meetings with other city administrators and consultants with knowledge of the market, Mayor Bawden and Administrator Long intend to provide a more detailed breakdown of the search and hiring process to City Council members for their review and input.