Alabaster begins search for new city manager

Alabaster began its search for a new city manager on Sept. 13 after the City Council approved an updated job description for the position on Sept. 12. The position has been vacant since former city manager George Henry stepped down on Aug. 1. (File)

Alabaster began its search for a new city manager on Sept. 13 after the City Council approved an updated job description for the position on Sept. 12. The position has been vacant since former city manager George Henry stepped down on Aug. 1. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The city of Alabaster began its search for a new city manager to replace former city manager George Henry on Sept. 13 after the City Council approved a new job description for the position during its Sept. 12 meeting.

Council members voted unanimously during the meeting to approve a new job description for the city manager position, and posted the job opening the following day.

“We would love to have someone in place by our first (council) meeting in November,” said Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon. “The job will be posted until it’s filled, and we will interview qualified applicants as they come through.”

The city manager is a council-appointed position, and is either appointed or reappointed every four years. Alabaster’s 2016-2020 City Council, which will include incumbents Scott Brakefield, Sophie Martin, Russell Bedsole and Stacy Rakestraw and newcomers Rick Ellis, Greg Farrell and Kerri Pate, will take office during the first meeting in November.

On July 22, Henry announced he was resigning from his position with the city after seven years to take a job in the private sector. Henry’s final day with the city was on Aug. 1.

According to the job description approved by the council on Sept. 12, the new city manager will “serve as the chief administrative officer and coordinate day-to-day administrative operations of the city. The city manager works under the guidance and direction of the elected mayor and City Council. This position directs and supervises assigned department heads and personnel in the Administration Department.”

The city manager also serves as the city clerk.

According to the job description, the city’s IT manager, planning and zoning coordinator, administrative assistant to the mayor and all department heads except the police and fire chiefs, human resources director and treasurer report directly to the city manager.

The job description outlines the following responsibilities:

1. Keep the mayor and City Council informed on matters of interest; research issues, policies and political developments; advise and apprise the governing body as needed.

2. Serve as a policy advisor to the mayor and Council on federal , state and local laws and regulations as well as administrative procedures of the city.

3. Develop administrative policies, procedures and processes as needed to implement the decisions of the City Council; coordinate the activities of the various departments to further the goals and objectives established by the City Council.

4. Monitor and oversee the enforcement of all laws and ordinances of the city.

5. Manage the preparation of the city’s budget and capital improvement programs and submit such items to the governing body for approval.

6. Monitor overall fiscal activity of the city to ensure compliance with established budgets and keep the mayor and council fully informed about the financial condition of the city.

7. Act as the purchasing agent for the city, ensuring compliance with competitive bid laws.

8. Prepare the agenda for and attend all council meetings.

9. Monitor all utility franchise agreements to assure that terms and conditions are favorable to the city and its residents.

10. Exercise general supervision over public property under the jurisdiction of the city.

11. In coordination with the mayor, serve as a liaison to various boards, commissions, civic and merchant organizations.

12. In coordination with the mayor, facilitate and participate in interagency, intergovernmental and private enterprise programs.

13. Serve as the appointing authority for hiring and removing civil service employees within legal limitations (excludes appointed officials and employees in the fire, police and human resources departments).

14. Recommend to the City Council any changes, alterations or amendments to the city code that may be beneficial for the efficient and legal operation of the business and affairs of the city.

15. Originate ideas for improvements in all city procedures and organizations so as to enhance service and/or reduce costs.

16. Make and execute all lawful contracts on behalf of the city.

17. Conduct and manages municipal elections.

“The city manager is the hub that gives the department heads the tools they need to get the job done,” Handlon said. “We’ve got a lot of qualified people working for the city right now, we just need a quarterback.”