Mark Taylor
[email protected]
Mike Scanlon, current city administrator for the city of Mission, is one of three candidates being considered for the vacant Gardner administrator post.
The council is expected to name a new administrator by Sept. 6.
Three committees — including Gardner City Council members, city staff, and citizens — interviewed the top three candidates for the post on Aug. 22.
The new hire is expected to start work in October.
Mayor Dave Drovetta and Scanlon each confirmed to The Gardner News on Aug. 24 that Scanlon was a candidate for the job.
Prior to that, two northern Johnson County websites posted that Scanlon was rumored to be a front-runner for Gardner’s top appointed post.
Those sites included savemission.net, a citizen group’s website, and shawneemissiontimes.com, a news website published by former Johnson County Sheriff Currie Myers.
The Gardner council has been searching for a new city administrator for since Stewart Fairburn left in March to take a job in Chickasha, Okla.
The search was recently narrowed to three candidates.
According to an e-mail provided to The Gardner News by Councilman Larry Fotovich, Drovetta contacted council members individually in June and asked if they would be willing to increase the  $110,000 salary cap for a certain person who might be “the right fit” for the job.
“There is a candidate very interested in the position but is currently compensated at a higher rate,” Drovetta’s e-mail read.  “The candidate would be willing to make a lateral move because of the opportunity for growth in Gardner. The candidate does not wish to apply if there is no willingness on the part of the Council to consider.
“This candidate is very experienced and is a long way from retirement.”
Drovetta did not identify the candidate in his e-mail and it is not known whether he was referring to Scanlon.
Scanlon has worked for the city of Mission since 2003 and has 20 years of local government experience, according to the city of Mission’s website.
Scanlon’s name has recently been the news due to a controversial driveway tax implemented last year in Mission.
The driveway tax charges property owners a fee based on how much traffic they generate, as a way to raise funds for road improvements.
Mission homeowners pay $72 per year for the driveway tax, while small businesses pay $3,558. Larger businesses, such as a Target store, pay more than $60,000 per year.