Marshall mayor may seek city administrator position

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 ~ Updated 4:36 PM
Connie Latimer (Sydney Stonner/Democrat-News)

Marshall has been without a city administrator for almost one month now, after Charles Tryban retired at the end of 2009. There has been much speculation about who will be chosen as his replacement, and Marshall Mayor Connie Latimer called an impromptu press conference Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 27, to address the issue.

"The rumors around town are running absolutely rampant," she said.

Latimer clarified a couple of legal issues, saying that it is not allowed for the positions of mayor and city administrator to be filled by the same individual, nor is she allowed to appoint herself as administrator.

However, Latimer said several Marshall City Council members and area residents have approached her about taking over for Tryban.

"I will say that I am considering resigning my mayor's position to apply for that," she said. But, "I have not made up my mind."

She added, "In a way, I feel like I'm bailing on the people that supported me" for mayor. "On the other hand, I am flattered that the council has that much faith in my ability."

Latimer also said that her own interests are not her only concerns when weighing her options.

"If I didn't think that it would be good for the city," she said, then she would not consider applying for the administrator's position.

Latimer said she will give the council her decision at its regular meeting Monday, Feb. 1, at 5:15 p.m.

She also noted that, throughout her tenure as mayor, she has done some work that could be considered more in the city administrator vein, naming the East Eastwood Bridge project as an example.

"A lot of the things that I've done since I've been in the mayor's office have involved some of that sort of work," Latimer said.

She has also been performing the work of both positions since Tryban's retirement.

In the event of Latimer's resignation and appointment as administrator, council member and mayor pro tem Lorna Alexander would finish out the mayor's term, which expires in 2011.

Contact Sydney Stonner at

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  • More evidence for the "no outsiders" theory.

    -- Posted by countryman on Wed, Jan 27, 2010, at 4:43 PM
  • You go Connie! I know you would be great as an administrator.

    -- Posted by put out on Wed, Jan 27, 2010, at 5:27 PM
  • I would think the best move would be to find a professional City Administrator instead of someone who had very little experience in managing a business as large as the city's budget. I noticed the Mayor seemed to be proud of the Eastwood Bridge but I have heard it referred as the bridge to the farm (guess who's farm). With the new bridge they will be able to save a mile or two when they want to go to the farm. Do we really want that type of thinking in charge of the city business? I think Not.

    -- Posted by Jimbob25 on Wed, Jan 27, 2010, at 9:07 PM
  • If Mr. Tryban has departed his city position has the position not been advertised yet for hiring action? Seems he gave a lot of advanced notice of his retirement to the council so one would think that the council would already be working on advertising for a replacement. I have to agree that we'd best be served with a professional city administrator. I would opine that if the major does resign for the position, the perception might hit the streets that the selection has already been made by the council and that they are going to 'take care of their own.' This perception could disuade any serious applications from those who are in the city administrator profession elsewhere from applying for the position. An interesting side note, the City Website still lists Mr. Tryban's name and e-mail address as being the City Manager, so maybe he's still working for us in spirit.

    -- Posted by oceanlord49 on Wed, Jan 27, 2010, at 10:06 PM
  • Not that my opinion counts but --

    I believe that Mayor Latimer has only the best intentions for Marshall. I think she would perform the job to the best of her abilities. I also believe that Marshall would be taking a major step backward by not opening this job to the "outside world". New blood is good. Change is good.

    Have a great day!


    -- Posted by missy08 on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 8:34 AM
  • Mr. Tryban probably represented the best of both worlds, both in "insider" in terms of experience in local business, but also bringing experience from a larger government's employment. He is hard to replace. The job should be opened to every applicant with consideration given to qualifications that include familiarity with central Missouri issues. That way Marshall can make sure than if a local is appointed, the best person has been chosen.

    -- Posted by Cat13 on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 9:43 AM
  • Now days most City Administrators have degrees

    in this specific area. What are Mrs. Latimer's

    educational qualifications? Most cities post

    on line and try to get qualified individuals.

    It is time this city moved on. Mrs. Latimer is a

    very good person but in 2010 we need expertise

    in this area.

    -- Posted by Cat Lover on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 2:17 PM
  • As the needs of our communities have become more complex, so has the job of a city administrator. The profession started in the early 1900's from those who were trained engineers and could build and maintain infrastructure. Today's administrators must also possess the management "know-how" as well as technical skills to build strong communities. Many city admin. now hold bachelor's degrees in public administration and and even higher percentage of those now hold master's degrees in their profession. The CA position today is not "who knows the town best" it has evolved into a solid body of technical compentency similar to educations of dentists, physicians, attorneys. These are positions who are trained in their decisions and do not learn by doing. Employing a professional admin. also frees elected officials from getting involved in day-to-day operations of a city, which is the essential function of the city administrator position. (Separation of Politics & Administration)

    Mrs. Latimer has done some great things for the City of Marshall as Mayor, so if this happens the City should wish her the best in success. But after her tenure is up (usually administrator's have 2 year contracts w/renewal options) that the City, out of it's best interest, search for a professionally trained administrator through the Missouri Municipal League or ICMA.

    God bless!

    -- Posted by TheFuture on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 3:10 PM
  • Position should be advertised. It's only fair. But hire Mrs. Latimer. She'll do great.

    I am a believer in hiring locally whenever possible.

    -- Posted by Night Sky on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 3:51 PM
  • Geez, Missy08, we taxpayers spent a lot of money to pay our administrators to keep Marshall just as it was 30 years ago. We can't go bringing in "new blood" now and ruin that perfect record of no population growth and no new jobs.


    -- Posted by countryman on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 4:04 PM
  • I agree if we want to grow then we need to have new blood and get someone that not only can manage the money but has people skills and will treat all employees fairly. In the good old buddy system it usually means the rewards and treatment of employees is based on who you are instead of what kind of job you do. I think 30 or 40 years with no growth indicates that we need to get professional leadership.

    -- Posted by Jimbob25 on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 5:28 PM
  • "However, Latimer said several Marshall City Council members and area residents have approached her about taking over for Tryban."

    She added, "In a way, I feel like I'm bailing on the people that supported me" for mayor. "On the other hand, I am flattered that the council has that much faith in my ability."

    Statements sound like she has already been hired by the council, just no one knows it yet??

    To the comment, go ahead and advertise the position to be fair, but give the Job to Latimer anyway? That makes sense!!

    The best known projects of her tenure is a bridge to no where that created zero jobs for Marshall and a few feet of concrete added on to a going to no where airport that created zero jobs for Marshall, but took away 2 million dollars of modot money for nothing. Yip we got alot out of all that...A whole lot of nothing!!

    -- Posted by Gumby on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 7:30 PM
  • gumby, I don't think the comment means she's already got the job. I think she was talking about council members having enough faith in her to ask her to consider applying for the job.

    I don't know what to think about this. I think she's a good mayor. a good leader. I'm sure she could do the city admin job. but it would be different. might be sort of a waste her mayor talents.

    -- Posted by taxedpayer on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 7:38 PM
  • Gumby, yes I think the position should be advertised. Fair and equal employment chances and all that.

    As for my comment about hiring Mrs. Latimer even though the position is advertised, that's a personal opinion and what I hope would happen.

    -- Posted by Night Sky on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 8:32 PM
  • Very good post by everyone.

    a. the bridge not only to the farm but to the best friends house.

    b. to the person(s) that posted to new blood and degrees in that area you are absolutley correct Marshall needs a person with City Administrators experinence in a city larger than Marshall but was an Assistant. The job does not pay like the same job in towns like Moberly, Macon and the such but experience is necessary and not elected experience for position very few people want. Yes it is almost always posted/adversited but it does not say where or how it is posted.

    c. the mayor has had Charlie's position in mind when she went on the council, and ran for Mayor.

    d. let's see mayor makes maybe $1500.00 per year and has to run every 4 years so when she moved from councilperson to mayor she got about $100.00 per month pay raise and still got medical and dental insurance for her and her husband. Now she maybe be willing to let the people down that supported her for mayor to take this position, only because she thinks she would be good at it. or could there be around 50 thousand $ others reasons to let the people down plus health insurance for free and not have to run for re-election. Like I said this I feel was a well thought out plan. Why did she wait until after filing date closed to make this news public. Why wouldn't you do it before so they can put the office on the ballot. Oh that would be she could have a new boss that can change the position at will.

    She may have the desire and the education but she does not have the City adminstration experience to lead Marshall into future.

    I would not go as fare as to say more of the "good old by system" more like a self serving idea.

    -- Posted by marshallnative on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 9:03 PM
  • I hope that Mayor Latimer will finish what she was elected to do. Stepping down now and being appointed to a new position by the very people that she has been working with smacks of cronyism at its worst. I hope the council will advertise the position and hire the most qualified candidate.

    -- Posted by raysfan on Thu, Jan 28, 2010, at 9:47 PM
  • As a current city administrator who was born and raised in Marshall, I can tell you the value that professional education brings to the job that some small towns do not get by hiring administrators with other back grounds. Mrs. Latimer will do a good job because she has been Mayor and knows what she expected out of a City Administrator. After Mrs. Latimer, or if she does not accept the position, the City should look real hard into the value a trained Admin. brings.

    -- Posted by TheFuture on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 8:26 AM

    -- Posted by 1OFTHEGALS on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 8:27 AM
  • I say let her try the job. All it takes is management, RIGHT?? She successfully "managed" to obtain the funding to build her farm bridge. She successfully "managed" to get a culvert installed in the ditch in front of her new house and covered with grass so she wouldn't have to mow in a ditch. She successfully "managed" to obtain Community Block Grant money to build a museum at the airport. However, she wasn't successful at managing to remember how to obtain that same type of grant to help restore one of the "oldest houses" in Marshall. Hey she can "manage"!!!!

    -- Posted by sassie2 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 10:06 AM
    Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
    Just FYI: The house you refer to was private property. The city did not have the authority to obtain a grant to repair it.
  • More clarification: The Latimers do not own a farm. Connie Latimer notes that they do rent pasture space from Butterfield Youth Services, but the route to the land does not include Eastwood Street, as several commenters have suggested.

    -- Posted by Eric Crump on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 11:16 AM
  • Connie is a honest and caring person, she really cares for Marshall and the things being said about the bridge and other things are not true. There are many people living on the other side of it that will use it everyday. People from Slater, Arrow Rock and many other people living east used it before and will continue using it again. It is sad to hear people talk about her like this, those of you that are, please get the facts before you bash her on this public site. Keep up the good work Connie.

    -- Posted by fresh air on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 11:29 AM
  • If she is such a good manager why did she not do anything when the PD was paying about $1700 more for Police Cars than was necessary. Both bidder met the spec asked for in the bid but they took the high bid and several people has suggested it was because the one that got the bid was a college roommate of the Police Chief. Is that good management of the Taxpayers Money? It doesn't sound like it to me.

    -- Posted by Jimbob25 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 11:49 AM
  • Mr. Crump, Please read all the uses available under the Community Block Development Program;Neighborhood Stabilization;Program Insular Area Grants: Read and find it says numerous things this money can be used for including "rehabilitation of houses & landmark structures" This program was used by the city of Marshall in years gone by and refurbished over 30 houses in town. At that time it was being run thru the Housing Authority. I know because I bought one from a previous landlord. However the city does not allow the sale of a house, once notified of need of repair, until repaired or demolished now, so that stops someone else from saving the house.

    -- Posted by sassie2 on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 12:15 PM
    Response by Eric Crump/Editor:
    There were a number of factors that doomed the McClure house. See:
  • Response to 10fTgals:

    The City Administrator manages the day-to-day operations of a City. Every department, Police, Fire, Public Works, etc. is overseen by the CA and operates under their management. The City Council & Mayor decide policy and the direction the city is going, and it is the admin's job to implement those goals and objectives. The CA is also responsible for preparing and presenting the annual budget to the City Council for approval, all while managing outside interests, grant opportunites, etc. In typically every city the CA is required to have a bachelors degree in a related field, business management, public admin., political science. A majority of almost all cities over 10,000 pop or more require Master's degree in Public Administration as the job becomes more professionalized and cities want to become more progressive.

    -- Posted by TheFuture on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 1:33 PM
  • This is why this town never gets anywhere! We need an educated City Admin with credentials and fresh ideas to make this town what everyone in this town keeps complaining about! The whole town is in uproar over how we need NEW schools to bring more businesses to town to boost our economy. What that really means is boost the economy of those who are employees of Saline County and the buddies they will hire on after they move up the ladder. It is way past time for Saline County to get some new people with degrees and get done what others have not!!! Just my thoughts

    -- Posted by toesrcute on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 2:23 PM
  • Miss Marple,

    If you don't like it , move back to the big city!

    -- Posted by Gumby on Fri, Jan 29, 2010, at 7:10 PM
  • s a current city administrator who was born and raised in Marshall, I can tell you the value that professional education brings to the job that some small towns do not get by hiring administrators with other back grounds. Mrs. Latimer will do a good job because she has been Mayor and knows what she expected out of a City Administrator. After Mrs. Latimer, or if she does not accept the position, the City should look real hard into the value a trained Admin. brings.


    One good reason to wait until after Mrs Latimer? I mean no disrespect to her but I don't believe she is qualified and if she is we (the public) need to be shown that.

    -- Posted by toesrcute on Sat, Jan 30, 2010, at 4:21 PM
  • What is the Administrator's salary?

    -- Posted by What the f...... on Sat, Jan 30, 2010, at 6:11 PM
  • Gumby, I haven't commented on this story, so why are you talking to me? Or am I just that irresistible?

    -- Posted by Miss Marple on Sat, Jan 30, 2010, at 9:59 PM
  • This position needs to be advertised, including responsibilities, experience and qualifications required for the position. Of course Mrs. Latimer should be allowed to apply, however, the best qualified candidate needs to be hired, whoever he or she may be.

    -- Posted by Reader101 on Sun, Jan 31, 2010, at 1:32 PM
  • What the....,

    I think the salary for city administrator is about $60,000.00/year.

    -- Posted by izaak on Sun, Jan 31, 2010, at 10:39 PM
  • Congrats Mrs. Brown. Gilliam is happy for you

    -- Posted by Walkingtall on Tue, Feb 2, 2010, at 8:46 PM
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