The Rio Dell City Council is once again searching for new leadership less than two years after it hired current City Manager Ron Henrickson.
The city received two applications for the job earlier this month, Henrickson said, but only one applicant met the job's qualifications. He added that he plans to bring the matter before the city council by April 17.
Rio Dell's next city manager will serve part-time and will also take on the duties of public works director, according to Councilman Jack Thompson. Since Henrickson was hired, the city has gone through a reorganization of employees and has moved forward with a contract to increase the size of its sewer plant facility, Thompson said. The city council has also approved a $2 million bond ballot initiative for street repairs that will be voted on by Rio Dell residents in June, he said.
"Once we have these items all organized and everything, we don't have that much work for a full-time city manager," Thompson said. "The feeling is if we can find somebody for half time, it would be to the benefit of the city."
Councilman Richard "Bud" Leonard said the new city manager needs to be someone who knows how to operate a city and have good knowledge of how government works. He or she would also have to be able to bring more revenue to the city, Leonard said.
Henrickson has worked for Rio Dell for about 22 months. He said he plans to retire once the council hires a new city manager, but an exact date hasn't been set.
"I came here primarily to join Scotia with Rio Dell," Henrickson said. "That's what was going on at the time, and that never materialized."
Henrickson has accomplished a lot during his tenure as city manager, even though the Scotia annex fell through, said Adam Dias, owner of Dias Artistries in Rio Dell. New restrooms were installed at Fireman's Park, and much of the cityscape has also changed with new lawns and a new sign, he said. Dias also credits Henrickson with putting together the proposed bond initiative to fix the streets. He added that he'd want the new city manager to have some of Henrickson's traits.
"We're looking for someone with forward thinking," Dias said. "I'm confident (Henrickson's) going to find somebody that's going to do us well."
Jessica Cejnar can be reached at 441-0504 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.