City council narrows administrator search
The Baldwin City Council has narrowed down a field of more than 50 applicants and could be close to finding a successor for former Baldwin City Administrator Jeff Dingman.
Baldwin City Mayor Ken Wagner said 52 people applied for the vacant city administrator position, which has been open since the end of May when Dingman took a job in Fort Smith, Ark. The field of applicants was narrowed to eight and then the council selected three candidates for interviews, which were conducted last week.
“We’ve seen, last week in those interviews, people with different degrees of experience and I think they all would be good candidates,” Wagner said.
Wagner was pleased with the number of applicants for the job and that the number of applicants exceeded his expectations.
“I think we’ve had a lot of things going for us that has allowed us to attract a lot of people to the job,” Wagner said.
Pam Irey has been serving as the Baldwin Interim City Administrator since the opening of the position. Wagner said she would remain in that role for as long as she was needed.
“She’s been a tremendous help through the budget process and the search process,” Wagner said. “Quite frankly, I couldn’t have done it without her.”
The next step for the council is to decide whether to offer one of the interviewed candidates the position or open the search back up to other applicants. Wagner’s goal is to get an offer made by the end of July.
Wagner said each of the three candidates had strong basic skills, as well as a specialty skill that separated the applicant from the other two. But all three applicants were impressed with the Baldwin’s infrastructure investments throughout the years. He also said the size of the Baldwin community and having Baker University in the community helped make the job attractive to applicants.
Not only is the council searching for a candidate to handle day-to-day operations but also someone who can bring people to the city.
“We’re really looking for somebody that can manage our city, who can market our city by aggressively going out and convincing businesses why they need to relocate here,” Wagner said.