Girard Council places city administrator under mayor’s supervision

By Doug Graham

City Administrator Larry Dillon is now under the direct supervision of Mayor Kurt Ziegler following a unanimous decision by the Girard City Council at a special session held Thursday night, Sept. 11.

Dillon says the change won’t affect his work.

“It doesn’t change anything, because when the council’s not in session, the way the ordinance reads, I kind of report to the mayor anyway, and I’ve always considered the mayor my boss,” Dillon said.

Melody Cherry, Ward 4 council representative, would not give details as to what prompted the change regarding the city administrator, but said it was necessary to ensure the council is able to function effectively as it prepares to tackle big decisions related to the golf course, a road project, and more.

“There’s a lot going on and we’re trying to get all of our bases covered,” Cherry said. “We’re just trying to get everything settled down and make sure everything’s taken care of, and this was the option we came up with.”

Dillon said he did not take the change “as a negative.”

“It actually streamlines communication is what it does,” Dillon said. “Sometimes when council members need something done, there can be miscommunications in instructions, and when I’m taking direction from four different people there can sometimes be conflicts in the direction I’m supposed to go.“

Dillon said the mayor will now serve as a single point of contact for input from the council.

“They go to the mayor,” Dillon said, “he gives it to me, and I’m only dealing with one person instead of four, which helps the city, helps the council get things done, and helps me to know the desires of the council.”

The council, down a member following Ward 1 representative Susan Thom’s resignation at the Sept. 8 meeting, discussed the matter for three half-hour executive sessions in a row. The change in the city administrator’s supervision was the only issue addressed during the meeting despite the golf course being listed on the evening’s agenda.