Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
Gardner City Council appointed Amy Nasta to the new Deputy City Administrator.
Council member Tory Roberts dissented.
Nasta is currently the City’s Senior Management Analyst.
The promotion is a $37,000 pay raise. According to the salary ordinance the council approved last night, Nasta’s salary would be between $102,000 and $153,000 annually, on par with the police chief, finance director, utility director and public works director. Deputy city administrator is a new position.
Roberts said she wanted to know if the money was in the city budget and if additional training and classes would be required.
Jim Pruetting, city administrator, said money wasn’t in the budget, and there would be opportunities for classes.
“This is a high level position,” Roberts said. “Why didn’t we open this for interviews.”
She said the increase in salary was a big one.
“A qualified candidate should be elevated,” Pruetting said.
Matt Wolff, finance directo,r and James Belcher police chief, were both appointed to their positions, Pruetting said.
“If I was to go outside I’d be looking for Amy Nasta,” he said.
Randy Gregoryck, council member, said he thought the key word was cost avoidance.
Todd Winters, council member, said he agreed that cost avoidance and efficiency were the important key aspects.
“We should see huge improvements,” he said. “Why waste time, effort and dollars to go outside if we already have talent.”
Mark Baldwin, council member, said if the city didn’t already have Nasta as an employee they would still be seeking the same qualifications in the interview process.
Baldwin said the pay scale is at the director level and Nasta will be overseeing three departments while saving a lot by having an in house project manager.
“If you have the candidate you have the candidate,” he said.
Steve Shute, mayor, said Nasta is a strategic thinker and the city will be able to streamline projects and turn them around faster.
“Hopefully we will listen to her instead of ignoring consultants we tend to disregard,” Baldwin said.
Kellen Headlee was also appointed as the new Public Works Director.
Pruetting said Headlee’s extensive experience in the Navy makes him qualified for the role.
Baldwin and Gregoryck said his resume was impressive and his service in the military will make him a good fit.
“He will bring a new filter to our organization,” Gregoryck said.