MUSCATINE — A few formalities remain, but it appears Carol Webb will come home to Iowa.
After a seven-month search for a new city administrator, an offer was made to Webb to step into the city personnel’s top slot. The Muscatine City Council on Thursday approved sending the negotiated terms to the city attorney to draft Webb’s contract. Webb still has to review the final contract language, but the terms are all agreed to, she said. She said once the council approved the final contract, she would make plans to relocate to Muscatine.
“I’m excited to get started,” she said Thursday morning, adding that after receiving her master of public administration degree in 2015, she had been looking for the right position.
“I was pretty selective about where I applied and looked for opportunities. Iowa was my top choice because I grew up there and love the area," she said. "I just kept my eyes open for the right opportunity, and I felt like this was it.”
If the contract is approved on both sides, Webb will take over as city administrator on Aug. 24 for a three-year term with a base salary of $150,000. At the end of the term, the contract will be reviewed for additional three-year terms.
“We think that Carol will bring a lot to the community and help us move forward on projects and goals we have established as a community,” Mayor Diana Broderson said.
Webb has served as deputy utilities director of Fort Collins, Colo., since 2014. Before that she served as the regulatory and government affairs manager. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology and chemistry from William Penn College and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado–Denver. She was born and raised in Ottumwa.
Her husband, Howard, is an art teacher, she said and added that the couple’s 11-year-old daughter, Matilda, can’t wait to start school in Muscatine and make new friends. Webb said several of her family members still lived in the area and she was looking forward to living closer to them.
Muscatine has several assets that caught her eye, Webb said. She believes there are many good things going on and plenty of room for growth. She believes she will be able to bring much to the table to help the community move into the future.
“There are two things I think stood out in the interview,” she said. “The first was my experience with strategic planning — and not just planning, also doing. The second thing is the system thinking process — just developing good processes that lend transparency to an organization and to local government.”
The first thing she hopes to do is meet with people and understand their priorities. She plans to meet the council and her team as well as groups in the community and businesses to help her understand the challenges and opportunities in the community. She said she believed in building networks as a way of accomplishing things.
Greg Jenkins has served as interim city administrator since December, after the city council voted to cancel the contract of former city administrator Gregg Mandsager, citing lack of confidence in Mandsager’s ability to perform the job. At the time, a performance review of Mandsager was being done but had not been given to the council. Mandsager had been city administrator since 2009.
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