It has been quiet regarding the hiring of a Gardner city administrator.
An email sent to Steve Shute, mayor, went unanswered. Daneeka Marshall-Oquendo, public information officer, said via e mail only that contract negotiations are ongoing.
Personnel issues are private, but government entities usually issue updates during the hiring process.
During a March 11 ‘meet and greet’ reception with the three job finalists, Shute said he would make his choice in open session during the March 18 meeting and then allow council members to decide whether to accept or reject his choice.
However March 18, Shute said on advice of counsel he was postponing that plan. Instead, he said, the meeting would adjourn to an executive session where contract negotiations would be discussed.
However, no announcement was made.
The three finalists for the job were Jim Pruetting, Gardner police chief, Nicholas Edwards, Lee’s Summit city administrator, and Brian Wilson, Belleville, Wisc., Village administrator.
Gardner entered into an $11,500 recruitment contract with the League of Kansas Municipalities (LKM) which advertised for the position in regional and national publication attracting 48 applicants.
Shute said the League used a metric designed for administrators to rank the applicants and presented the results to the city for further review.
Shute added that together with Laura Gourley, city administrator, and Alan Abramovitz, human resource manager, he determined the seven candidates who faced the 11 person selection committee which named the three finalists.
The selection committee consisted of the mayor, city council president and vice president, three citizens (one selected by each of theremaining council members), Gardner Edgerton chamber board representative, Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corporation representative, USD 231 school board representative, Johnson County Fire District No. 1 representative, and Gourley.
Cheryl Harrison-Lee, former administrator, resigned in September, 2018, and received a more than $300,000 buyout.