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City administrator departure leaves Keokuk projects uncertain

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Keokuk City Hall Keokuk City Hall
Mayor Tom Richardson Mayor Tom Richardson
City Council chambers in Keokuk City Hall. City Council chambers in Keokuk City Hall.
Burnett's name on the award. Burnett's name on the award.
Aaron Burnett Aaron Burnett
KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) -

The city of Keokuk is now thinking ahead after learning Monday night that the city administrator is taking another job in a bigger city. 

The city is still working on a long list of things to complete this summer.

City Administrator Aaron Burnett was instrumental in starting many projects and now other people need to finish the job when he leaves.

Mayor Tom Richardson called his city administrator's move to Mason City, Iowa, a shock to the system.

"Suddenly, I am being thrown into potentially a situation where we might be without a city administrator for a while," Richardson said.

Richardson is a part-time mayor and said he's going to have to step up once Aaron leaves in June.

"People are going to be asking about questions on projects and other things and I don't have the answers at this point," Richardson said. "I have a quick learning curve for the next three months."

Aaron Burnett said he wants to help find his replacement to train the person before he leaves.

"I am already putting together those options for the council so they can decide if they want to use an executive search firm or do it in-house," Burnett said. 

Burnett said he does want to finish some things before leaving.

"I am looking at as many of the legislative type items, policies, and ordinances because those are things that I can clean up quick and put it in front of the council," Burnett said. "They will be long council meetings but we will be able to close out those things."

Richardson said he's focused on budget cuts because of lack of state funding and development of the barge as it sits at the riverfront.

"Those are two important things, where are we going to get funding and where will some of these projects end up in the next few months," Richardson said.

Burnett's last day is June 22.

He is headed to Mason City on Thursday when the council there is expected approve his position.

Meanwhile, the city says it will be a long process to find a replacement.

MORE LINKS

  • To read Mason City Council's press release on the nomination, CLICK HERE
  • For more on the special agenda in Mason City Thursday, CLICK HERE

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