KEYSER - Saying the City of Keyser needs more stability as elected officials come and go, mayor Damon Tillman is suggesting the council take action to change the city administrator's position from being appointed to one that is hired.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Saying the City of Keyser needs more stability as elected officials come and go, mayor Damon Tillman is suggesting the council take action to change the city administrator’s position from being appointed to one that is hired.
As city government currently operates, it is up to the mayor to appoint whomever he wants in several positions, including city administrator, chief of police, and city attorney, among others, and that appointment must be approved by the council.
When Tillman took office in July 2018, he appointed an interim administrator, Buck Eagle, who served until July, when Tillman appointed the current administrator, Amanda Brafford.
Both appointments were unanimously approved by the council.
Should another mayor be elected when Tillman’s term is over, however, the new person could appoint someone entirely different.
“I’m asking the council to change this,” Tillman said Wednesday during the regularly-scheduled council meeting
“IF we can get a city administrator as a hired position who doesn’t have to worry about losing their job … that city administrator can continue on doing their job and the city can grow.”
Council member Jennifer Junkins said she liked the idea, but noted that, “We would still have the option to counsel them or, if need be, to fire them.”
Junkins also felt that being hired rather than appointed would “give them more rights as an employee.”
Finance commissioner Mike Ryan noted that the council would have to rewrite the handbook to incorporate the duties, rights and responsibilities of the position.
“We’ll have to look at the ordinance, too,” Junkins said.
Junkins then made a motion to begin the process of changing the scope of the position, and Ryan seconded it. The motion passed 4-0 with council member Eric Murphy absent from the meeting.