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Eldridge hires Kotter, a familiar city administrator

Eldridge hires Kotter, a familiar city administrator

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ELDRIDGE — The city's new administrator is a familiar face to Quad-Citians.

Former Geneseo and Moline city administrator Lisa Kotter is the consensus pick as the replacement for outgoing administrator John Dowd. Her employment agreement and salary were agreed upon Monday at a special meeting of the Eldridge City Council.

“I’m excited and look forward to serving not only the city council, work with all the employees and serve the community and citizens who call Eldridge home,” Kotter said.

One of 30 initial candidates, Kotter’s experience with budgeting and finance as well as her experience with electric utilities were things that appealed to the city council. “Not many administrators also run utilities, so finding someone that did both was a good fit for us and somebody that had a good financial background also,” councilor Frank King said after the meeting. “John’s helped us be in good financial shape for quite a long time.”

Councilor Brian Dockery said that in some cities, the city administrator does not do the nuts and bolts of the budget. “They have a financial manager that puts it together, which we do not have,” he said. “So it was hard to find somebody with the financial background of putting budgets together, [but] Lisa’s been involved with putting 26 budgets together, plus the municipal electric background.”

“Based on the strength of her experience and desire to serve the interests of the citizens of our growing City of Eldridge, Iowa, we are looking forward to accepting Lisa into our Eldridge employee team and family,” Mayor Marty O’Boyle said in a statement.

Kotter resigned under controversy from Moline in September after fewer than five months on the job. One of six top administrators in Moline to resign last year, Kotter was previously administrator in Geneseo. 

But the consultant for the Eldridge hiring process, Patrick Callahan of Callahan Municipal Consultants, was impressed with Kotter. “Lisa’s interview was one of the better ones I’ve ever seen,” Callahan said. “Many times I found myself listening to her answers and saying, ‘That’s what I would’ve said.’”

Kotter’s employment contract states that she will be paid an annual salary of $106,200 and benefits including four weeks of paid vacation, health insurance and contributions to the ICMA Retirement Fund. After six months, there is a mechanism for her to receive a $3,000 raise on a good evaluation.

Kotter says one of the things she liked about Eldridge is the fact that the city council and Mayor O’Boyle emphasized her building relationships in the community. “I look forward to working for and serving all the citizens of Eldridge; I look forward to meeting them and getting to know them,” she said. “I want them to know that I welcome them visiting me at City Hall or any places they see me in the community, please feel free to introduce yourself, I look forward to getting to know people.”

Kotter’s first day will be March 9. Dowd will retire on April 1.

Kotter is most recently the interim city administrator for Riverdale. The Eldridge city council said it is amenable to Kotter working with the city of Riverdale on off times like weekends as long as Eldridge comes first and the work does not interfere with Eldridge matters.

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