Centerville council prepares for planning retreat

Telegraph correspondentFebruary 5, 2014 

CENTERVILLE -- Council members, city department heads and Mayor John Harley all left Tuesday’s regular council meeting with homework: prepare a written vision and goals statement prior to council’s Feb. 18 work session.

Council members came up with the assignment in preparation for a planning retreat council and department heads have scheduled in late March-early April.

Harley, council and city staff have been working for months to make the meeting practical and effective.

“We’ve been discussing the planning retreat and how to get the most out of it,” Harley said. “We each are going to come to our next session with something written, something practical, something we can work toward that recognizes what we can do with our current assets.”

Since the departure of Centerville’s city administrator, Patrick Eidson, in late 2013, council has made the decision not to replace him but rather have department heads take a stronger role in the city’s management with council members taking further oversight responsibilities for various departments.

Harley said another discussion Tuesday about department head job descriptions reflected that decision and department heads’ larger responsibilities. He said revamped descriptions should be complete and ready for approval by the next work session.

“Our former city administrator did a good job training our department heads, and they’ve gotten quite a lot of education in their fields through the years,” Harley said. “They came to us and said they wanted to try to help run the city without a city administrator and see how well they’d do. It’s working out very well so far.”

Contact Michael W. Pannell at

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