Swansea looks for candidates to fill village administrator position

News-DemocratAugust 5, 2013 

Nearly a year after the village's administrator announced his resignation from his $90,000 job, the village is still looking for candidates to fill the empty position.

Former village administrator John Openlander, who was hired in 2008, submitted his resignation to the village board in September and officially left the village Nov. 9. He left to take a city administrator position in another state.

Mayor Ken Mueller said he has reviewed several applications for the position since Openlander left but has not received any feedback from board members. Craig Coughlin has served as interim village administrator since Openlander's resignation.

"We either need to have the Personnel Committee take a look at the applications I have or go out on another avenue to fill this position," he said. Mueller added he has interviewed six potential candidates for the position.

Board trustee Susan O'Malley expressed her reluctance to keep the search for an administrator local.

"I'm happy to look at the applications but I strongly feel we should do a search for candidates nationally," she said. "It's an employers' market right now. We did that for the open receptionist position and I feel we should do the same thing for this very important position."

Mueller asked the village board to review and give feedback on a job advertisement he wrote earlier this summer and during the Personnel Committee meeting Monday night at the Swansea Government Center, board members decided to have the advertisement publicized. He said he believes the $90,000 salary was too high for the duties the village requires of an administrator and Openlander was paid too much for what he did.

"I think salary based on experience is the best way to handle it," Mueller said.

The committee agreed to publish an advertisement for the position and accept applications until Aug. 22.

During it's meeting following the committee meetings, the board voted to accept a $8,500 bid for a new, 34-foot by 60-foot vinyl building to be used to hold 200 tons of salt for village roads. The village has a salt dome that holds 300 tons of salt, but, over the years, the village has added miles of new roads that require salting during foul winter weather and uses about 500 tons of salt, according to John Budde.

Budde is with the village's Street Department. The 200 tons of salt that won't fit into the village's salt dome is being stored at the sewage plant, "which is not an appropriate place," Budde said. He said that if an appropriate place to store salt is not built, the village could run out of salt during the winter months when it is needed most.

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