Wednesday, June 25, 2014 | NEWS
Resident asks Luck to hire an administrator
Mary Stirrat | Staff writer
LUCK — Believing that a group of part-time volunteers cannot adequately oversee day-to-day management of the village, resident Sean Kinney spoke to the Luck Village Board last Wednesday, June 11, to urge the hiring of an administrator.
Village ordinances call for an administrator or an interim administrator, he said, to act as the executive administrator of the village. The ordinance creates the position, outlines the responsibilities of the position and states the procedure to be used if there is no administrator.
Quoting the ordinance, Kinney said the role of an administrator is “to ensure competent and stable administrative function throughout the local government and to provide uniform policy administration and implementation.”
Kinney said he has “heard stories about the last administrator,” and whether the experience was good or bad, the fact remains that the village has been without an administrator since July 2012.
Since then, he noted, several things have been left by the wayside, while other things have happened that should not have. He pointed to lack of activity by the redevelopment authority, which is the main economic development committee of the village, a 25-percent increase in property taxes due to a paperwork issue at United Pioneer Home and the “financial hole” in which the golf course has fallen.
“This is just a partial list,” said Kinney. “I’m sure there are others. In my opinion there is no one to blame. This is a systems failure. A committee, such as a part-time village board or a volunteer-managed, unpaid golf commission, can set a policy, but it is difficult for largely volunteer and part-time committees to oversee day-to-day management.
“Successful organizations rely on experienced individuals to implement policy and procedures,” he said.
Kinney listed a number of issues that the village will be facing in the next few years including continued leadership issues at the golf course, a shrinking tax base and student population, an increase in rental properties and a decrease in home ownership, and increased competition for economic and tourism dollars.
“Considering the track record of the last two years,” he asked, “does anyone realistically think part-time committees are best suited to address these significant community issues?”
As he concluded, Kinney again urged the board to review the ordinances and officially appoint an interim village administrator while the search begins for a “qualified candidate to be hired as the village’s administrator.”
Kinney moved to Luck last December and is a member of both the village tourism committee and the Luck Vision Committee.
• The executive director of the Museum of Danish America, along with two staff members, introduced themselves to the village board. John Mark Nielsen, administrative manager Terri Johnson and development manager Debra Larsen were in Luck for the weekend as the museum’s board of directors held meetings at West Denmark. The museum is located in Elk Horn, Iowa. ”We are the museum for collecting artifacts of the Danish American experience,” said Nielsen. He said the group of 19 board members attending the meetings were anxious to learn about Luck’s strong Danish heritage.
• The board voted to have Kathy Hansen come back to run the village office the week of July 14 while village treasurer Kevin Kress and village clerk Lori Pardun attend training at UW-Green Bay.
• Colleen Kunz and Todd Walters were appointed as voting members to the Luck Vision Committee.
• No bids were received for a project to log 40 acres on the north side of town. The board voted to advertise two more weeks.