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.