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Public works position on the shelf — for now

By Staff | Jan 2, 2009

A half-dozen interviews were conducted last fall for a public works supervisor position for the city of Rugby, but whether city officials will offer the full-time position to one of those candidates is doubtful.

Dave Bednarz, Ward Two councilman and chairman of the search committee for the position, says he’s leaning toward tabling the issue for now.

Bednarz is one of three council members who were on the search committee, along with Bill Hartl of Ward Three; and Steve Brossart of Ward One.

The city posted the position in August at a salary ranging from $35,000 to $45,000, based on work experience and qualifications, and received several inquiries before narrowing the list of applicants and conducting interviews. Among the six interviewed, four were current city employees.

Bednarz said the city received some excellent applications, a few with extensive experience as public works superintendents. However, the city couldn’t match the salary they were making elsewhere.

The search committee will likely make a recommendation to the full council to hold off on the position for a while.

About the job

The city council set aside $40,000 in this year’s budget for the newly-created position, which would perform a number of supervisory and adminsitrative duties that focus on the street and sewer and water departments. Right now those responsibilties fall on department heads who also assist in the day-to-day tasks.

Although the public works staff in place boasts several years of experience, the council believes the new job would eliminate some of the time the department heads spend dealing with adminstrative functions and allow them more time to concentrate on completing needed maintenance and improvement projects. The new position would not be strictly a desk job; the supervisor would assist in the workload. City officials feel in time the post will create a more efficient city government.

Other cities similar in size to Rugby have public works supervisors on the payroll.

However, the proposed position has come under scrutiny by some current city employees and the public, questioning its need.

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