Search for Beecher's replacement may begin

KINGMAN - It's been nearly a full year since the ousting of ex-City Manager Paul Beecher, and it looks as though the Kingman City Council is finally prepared to look for his permanent replacement.

Following a discussion of their options at a work session July 30, Council will discuss adopting one of five options to fill the city manager position at their next meeting on Monday.

Four of the options would initiate a search for new talent outside the city limits. These options differ primarily in their method of recruitment - one would look toward hiring a private recruitment firm, one would work with the Arizona League of Cities and Towns to find a new city manager and one would keep the process in-house, with the city receiving limited assistance from the Arizona City Managers Association. The fourth option is to simply combine two or more of the above options.

The fifth option, advocated by Councilmen Kerry Deering and Keith Walker, would be to appoint acting City Manager Jack Kramer to the position and negotiate a contract. But while that option could be the swiftest and least costly solution for city, it received a cold reception from Councilwoman Robin Gordon. While Gordon conceded that Kramer has performed admirably, she stressed the importance of finding the absolute best-qualified person for the job.

The city's radio communications system is another item from last week's work session to find its way onto Monday's agenda.

During the work session, several Council members discussed a pressing need to expand and upgrade the antiquated system, a need made all the more pressing when Kingman Fire Department Chief Chuck Osterman informed them of a serious failure in the KFD dispatch control radio that occurred the previous day.

While Council was legally prohibited from issuing any staff direction during the work session, they will likely do so at Monday's meeting - a corresponding agenda item calls for Council to direct staff to explore financing options for renovating the radio system, then report back to Council "as soon as possible."

Council will also consider the fate of the Development Services building at 201 N. Fourth St.

The city currently leases the space for $6,750 each month, with an option to purchase the building for $950,000.

The current lease is set to expire on Jan. 31, 2009.

At last week's work session, Council members expressed a desire to explore the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing and continuing to lease the building.

Others suggested looking for other buildings further away from Beale Street's business district and closer to the city complex.

Monday's agenda will give members the chance to direct staff to look into all three possibilities.

Monday's meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 310 N. Fourth St.

For more information on agenda items, call (928) 753-6867.