Crowell hired as city administrator
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
This article expands upon an initial report filed Tuesday night.
The Jefferson City Council unanimously voted to hire Steve Crowell as the new city administrator in a closed session Tuesday night.
The current city manager in St. Marys, Ga., Crowell was approved in a 9-0 vote, with 2nd Ward Councilman Shawn Schulte not present during Tuesday’s meeting.
Crowell, who will receive a starting salary of $152,000, is expected to start with the city around March 10.
Former City Administrator Nathan Nickolaus was fired in September, with Mayor Eric Struemph saying at the time that the city needed to move in a different direction. City attorney Drew Hilpert has been serving in the interim.
Nickolaus earned a salary of $122,000 as city administrator.
Crowell said he was attracted to the position in Jefferson City because of the opportunities and ongoing projects the city is working on. He said he’s already begun meeting with staff members to catch up with issues of the city.
When asked whether he saw any potential issues coming from a city manager position to that of a city administrator, Crowell said he has held positions as city administrator in several cities and was confident he could do the job.
“I look forward to working with the people, the staff and certainly the elected officials,” Crowell said. “I just do what I’m told. I know that the city has been very customer-oriented; I want to make sure that we continue that.”
Struemph said Crowell has more than 30 years of experience in city leadership, providing exactly what Jefferson City needs as it nears “an economic boom.”
“We now have an accredited, credentialed new city (administrator),” Struemph said. “I think that’s what our city needs right now … As the mayor, I’m very happy.”
The city had received 67 applications for the position when the application period ended in mid-November. Struemph’s appointed selection committee, made up of 10 community members, reviewed applications and recommended only Crowell for the position.
Third Ward Councilman Bob Scrivner, who chaired the selection committee, said the city had no internal candidates for the position. Scrivner said Crowell stood out because of his experience and the feeling that he had a vision for the city. Asked what he thought that vision was, Scrivner said “as far as asking exactly what his vision is right now, I don’t know that I could answer that.”
“He really wants to get out in the community and meet the leaders and the citizens of the community and find out what their vision is, what it is that they want from the city,” Scrivner said.
According to Crowell’s information on the St. Marys, Ga. website, he has prior experience as the city manager or city administrator in North Port, Fla.; Greenwood Village, Colo.; Commerce City, Colo.; La Vista, Neb.; and David City, Neb.
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