Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
With the resignation of City Administrator Brent Hinson effective Aug. 6, Washington must begin its search for a successor.
Although the City Council has not yet formalized its approach, Mayor Jaron Rosien said it would likely resemble the processes used to select other high-level city staff.
“The council will have a big part in the process … Pending council approval, I anticipate a hiring process similar to other instrumental positions,” Rosien said. “A committee that looks at qualified candidates together, potentially a consultant that helps with recruitment, and a real team approach to finding a city administrator that will be the best fit for the City of Washington.”
According to Rosien, the typical committee would have 12-20 members drawn from community leadership positions on and off of city payroll, organized into panels. He said that public input would likely play into the final decision, but how it would be received is undetermined.
The city may decide to hire a consultant to raise awareness about the position and share the strain on city staff. Rosien said he preferred such an option.
"The ultimate decision lies with the six elected officials, but I’m a fan of a big tent, so to speak,“ he said. “The city administrator works with a lot of people, so it makes sense that a lot of people would be involved in the selection process.”
Rosien estimated that the council would finalize a selection process within two weeks but stressed that it may not settle on a candidate before Hinson leaves the position.
“There’s a hard deadline for Brent’s departure, but there is not the same hard deadline for Brent’s replacement,” he said. “If the candidate search process takes longer, you can have an interim city administrator, which could be an external or internal person. There are lots of options that can solve that problem.”
With the specifics up in the air, comments from city officials had one recurring theme: Washington’s next administrator will have big shoes to fill.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t give Brent a huge amount of credit for all of the great work that he has done for the City of Washington,” City Council Member Danielle Petit-Majewski said. “I would be looking for somebody who is forward-thinking, somebody who is a good partner, somebody who listens and thinks long term, somebody who is fiscally responsible but also understands the investments that are needed to maintain Washington as the great place that it is.”