City continues search for manager
City Manager Steve Sheiffer retires at midnight Friday, Sept. 5, and Winzenz becomes interim manger at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 6.
Winzenz is a longtime member of city staff. As director of administrative services he is responsible for compiling council agendas, and he oversees these departments: accounting, assessor, city attorney, clerk-treasurer, human resources and information technology.
He also acts as manager in the manager’s absence.
Winzenz, reached this morning, said he is excited about the new opportunity.
“I think that my job at this point is to continue to keep the organization moving forward with initiatives currently underway as well as addressing any challenges that may crop up between now and the time that Steve Sheiffer retires and a new city manager begins work for the city.
“I think we have a great management team in place and an excellent group of city employees, and my job is to keep things moving forward.”
The council in July decided to launch a second search for a new city manager rather than to pick from a field of five finalists.
Loasching said the city’s recruiter, the PAR Group, is talking to about 20 applicants.
The recruiter is contacting several good candidates who withdrew their applications during the first round to see whether their situations have changed, she said.
Loasching is confident the consultant will produce a second pool of qualified applicants.
The recruiter is doing more research and is calling potential hires, she said. Loasching hopes council members will look at those resumes in mid-August.
“I’m hopeful,” Loasching said. “Oftentimes, it’s a matter of timing.”
“The most important thing to the council is that we find the right person,” Loasching said.
In closed session Tuesday, the council clarified its expectations of Winzenz, and the parties agreed on a one-page contract, Loasching said.
Winzenz’s pay of $103,000 will increase by 15 percent to about $118,000 during the time he is manager. He will return to his current job and salary when a new manager is hired.
Winzenz can give the council four weeks notice if he chooses to relinquish the position, Loasching said.
Winzenz was hired as assistant operations director in 1988, was promoted to management assistant in 1993 and housing coordinator in 1995. He was named housing director in 1996 and director of the new housing, building and neighborhood services department in 2002.
Winzenz has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas.
“We’re very confident Jay will do a good job,” Loasching said. “It does put the council a little bit at ease, although we are anxious to get back to the search for the new city manager.”
Winzenz said the experience of manager will help him when he returns to his current job as well as in the future when the city manager position opens up again.
Winzenz is not an applicant for the current open position because he doesn’t believe it is the right time for his family.
But “I can’t predict what might happen in the next several months or five to 10 years,” he said.
“My long-term goal has been to be a city manager.”