Grantsville City Council plans to hire a city manager and make the office of mayor a part-time position.
“We’ve been fortunate to have had a mayor here for 12 years and it has been a luxury to have that kind of knowledge available,” said Councilman Jeff Hutchins.
He said Grantsville had reached a point in size and scope where it could use the expertise of a city manager.
Mayor Brent Marshall said he will not run for another term as full-time mayor. Marshall first served on the City Council from 2006 until 2010, and was elected Grantsville’s first full-time mayor in 2010 and is currently finishing his third term.
Hutchins said it would be good if a new city manager could work with the mayor for about three months prior to him leaving office to help make for a smooth transition.
Grantsville residents will elect a mayor and two council members in the upcoming election. The Council would like to approve an ordinance at its June 2 meeting so mayoral candidates know the duties responsibilities of a part-time mayor. The Council also would also approve an ordinance outlining the responsibilities of a city manager.
Candidates may file a declaration of candidacy form with the city recorder from June 1 to June 7.
“You’re the best mayor we’ve ever had in Grantsville hands down,” Councilman Scott Stice told Mayor Marshall at Wednesday’s meeting.
“I don’t think we’re going to get another one (mayor) in this next election and it scares me to death,” Stice said.
He said losing all the knowledge possessed by the current mayor would make decision-making a lot tougher for the City Council.
Personnel Director Jesse Wade said about 12 cities the size of Grantsville have city managers and the pay range is $90,000 to $124,000.
“We’re just at a precipice with industry, growth and everything that is happening that we need a city manager,” Councilwoman Krista Sparks said.
Sparks Marshall as a full-time mayor the past 12 years has been extremely beneficial to the City.
“We are losing a valuable asset in the mayor. The only reason the Main Street Project got done was because we had somebody here for so long who was able to see the project through and someone who was able to help get the funding,” she said. “When you have mayors turning over every four years you don’t have that.”
She said there are candidates trained and educated to fill the role of city manager.
Sparks said the new mayor’s salary would be significantly decreased to offset the cost of a city manager.
When asked, Marshall provided his input.
“I would not vote for a city manager because I think the position should be accountable to the citizens,” he said. “With a city manager you don’t have the same rapport with the citizens because the city manager doesn’t work for the citizens, he works for you five guys (City Council). Also, research shows that a city manager works in the position for an average of three. That’s less than a term.”