In a special meeting Nov. 26, Marion City Council voted unanimously to hire current economic development director and interim city administrator Roger Holter to fill the position of city administrator at his current pay level of $66,500.
“We interviewed three very good candidates, all with strengths, and we would all have good comments about any of the three,” Mayor Mary Olson said. “He (Holter) has a vision of Marion we like and want to keep going down that path.”
Holter said he is excited about his new position and grateful to have the opportunity.
“I’m excited to see where the job will take me and how I can serve the community,” he said.
The first item of business for Holter is to make a holistic emergency plan for the city.
“I met with the county emergency manager Randy Frank Monday so we can all be on the same page,” Holter said. “My goal is for everyone, not just the individual departments, to know what to do if there’s an emergency.”
Holter also plans on looking at utilizing funds from city sales tax to help with development.
“With help from the council, I hope to figure out how to head forward with a plan to do something with distressed properties and help the town bring in new businesses and people into town,” he said.
Holter said as economic development director he was working with four potential businesses to possibly open stores in Marion.
“I plan to continue to work with them to bring them into town,” Holter said, but he will encourage council to begin the hiring process for a new economic the development director.
“Hopefully we can make a decision on that soon and set a timeline to fill the position,” he said.
“Salary for the position is in the budget for next year,” council member Todd Heitschmidt said. “So we’ll speak with Roger and see what he wants to do with the position.”
Other candidates interviewed were Gary Heer, city manager and finance and human resources executive for the city of Atchison, and Betty Thompson, former city administrator in Quinter.