KC officials seeking new administrator
by Bain Serna
Jan 12, 2013 | 1372 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KARNES CITY – With the recent resignation of Larry Pippen as city administrator, city officials are now in the thorough process of finding a qualified and capable replacement.

The city leadership had considered and weighed the option of hiring a temporary interim city administrator until a permanent one was selected and hired. After review of that option, it was decided by city officials that it would be more cost-efficient and better to go with the process of finding a permanent city administrator, and in the mean time having the city leadership take on the responsibilities of the city administrator in the transition period.

“It’s substantial monies to do the interim city administrator, as much as $88,000,” said Mayor Don Tymrak. “It was a decision by the council that we would not execute that option., and we would just go with SeeKing HR and have them ramp up their activities to do the nation-wide search to find us a replacement in 30 to 45 days.”

The city has employed the services of SeeKing HR in regards to finding candidates that are qualified for the vacant city administrator position. Seeking HR is a San Antonio-based company that specializes in the full spectrum of human resource services.

“We’ll have SeeKing HR, since they are the professionals, vet out the candidates completely during the background checks,” explained Tymrak. “They will present us with a short list of candidates that meet all our criteria. The candidates come to us basically ready to be hired, and the council will make that decision.”

Tymrak says that the position of a city administrator is not a required constitutional position, but rather one that a city government can choose to have. In the interim, Tymrak will head the responsibility of running the city, along with the help of the city council.

“Before, it was up to the mayor to be chief operating officer anyway,” said Tymrak. “I brought the first city administrator to Karnes City. I was there when we established that position for the very first one, and all of the four city administrators since. In between the city administrators, I pretty much run the city, so it’s nothing new to me. Of course, it’s a little different this time around because of Eagle Ford Shale complications, so it’s much more time consuming.”

Tymrak explained that the city council will be a valuable help in effectively running the city during this transition.

“This is one of the best councils I’ve ever had,” he said. “They bring such a wealth of experience and talent to the table. They’ve all stepped up in various disciplines to help me run the city. We’re utilizing their skills to keep this city moving forward, and it gives us time to select the very best possible candidate for our new city administrator.”

Tymrak also cites the qualities of the city employees as an asset in the present time of change and transition.

“The only thing that’s changed is that Mr. Pippen is no longer here,” he said. “But the team that we’ve put together from the employee standpoint is rock solid. My department heads are solid, the rank-and-file employees are solid, the office clerical staff is solid.”

When asked about what he believes makes a strong and capable city administrator, Tymrak says it’s all about being a leader.

“They need to be a leader first and foremost. For me, the biggest consideration for what makes a good leader is that the leader treats people the way the leader wants people to treat him or her. A city administrator leads a staff that reports to the council, so I believe if they got leadership skills and capabilities, that is the first start, then all the support skills that come with it.

“The city administrator needs to be a people person because they are the interface between the city government and the citizens on a daily basis. I believe strongly in leadership.”
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