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City administrator job description on file

City looks to have hire in place by November

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – The city now can begin the process of hiring an administrator.

The City Council put a job description on file Monday for the administrator it hopes to have working by November. It’s posted at for the public to review.

The city administrator will serve as “the top appointed executive in the city, responsible for carrying out the policies and programs determined by the elected City Council,” it says.

The elected commissioners have final authority over their departments, while the administrator will have direct supervision of day-to-day operations.

Ideally, commissioners set policies and goals, and the administrator carries out the plan, said Police Chief Danny Langloss, a special assistant to the City Council.

The City Council must approve the job description, probably at its Aug. 5 meeting, then advertise. The posting likely will stay up for 30 days, then the council will start interviews, Langloss said.

Making the lines of communication clear was an important component of the job description, Langloss said, because the commission form of government grants executive powers to its elected officials and that potentially could clash with the duty of an administrator.

The job description says each commissioner must outline in writing what he or she expects to hear from the administrators when it comes to city operations. For example, commissioners could say they want to hear only about expenses that exceed $5,000.

If a commissioner does not provide written expectations, the administrator is expected to communicate only “extraordinary information,” the job description says, which is left up to interpretation.

Department supervisors will follow the chain of command for decisions related to their department, meaning they will report directly to the administrator.

At any time, a department head can request a meeting with his or her assigned commissioner and the city administrator, including times when the supervisor disagrees with the administrator.

Again, the commissioner will have the final say.

The job description also says:

– The city administrator must live within city limits on or before Jan. 1, 2016; any administrator hired after that date must live within city limits within a year of being hired.

– The City Council will provide an annual evaluation of the administrator in writing.

– The administrator is responsible for meeting with department heads to determine needs and action plans, and coach them if necessary, as well as meet with commissioners to establish goals.

– The administrator is in charge of reviewing and making recommendations to the City Council for changes in the city’s personnel policy manual.

– The administrator must work with the finance director, council and department supervisors to adopt an annual budget, and ensure the city is operating ethically and soundly.

– The administrator is responsible for public relations, continuation of economic development, leadership and human resources, and must adhere to a code of ethics set forth by the Illinois City/County Management Association, which has 12 tenets to follow.

“We don’t expect this person to be in the weeds every day micromanaging,” Langloss said. “This is a position created to look at the city from 30,000 feet and make sure the city is reaching its goals and running professionally.”

Salary has not been discussed, but $163,115 has been appropriated. The council will determine pay during negotiations with candidates.

Also Monday, Commissioner Jeff Kuhn said he will announce which streets are pegged for maintenance this year at the Aug. 5 meeting.

To attend

The Dixon City Council meets again at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.

Go to and click on "Citizens Information Center" or call City Hall, 815-288-1485, for an agenda.

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