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City of Hastings continues search for new city administrator

Local4 News at 5
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 7:32 PM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - As per state statute, the city responded to a request from a citizen for public records, and what’s followed has been quite the whirlwind. Dave Ptak and his predecessor, Joe Patterson, have had their conversations via Dave’s work emails, released online.

Dave Ptak has since resigned from the city administrator role, but it is not clear that it’s because of the emails.

Mayor Corey Stutte says that they’ve hired a recruiting firm, Baker Tilly, to search for the right person to fill the role.

“I just think it’s become rather apparent since Dave Ptak resigned that there was a culture problem here at the city administrator level and we’re really looking forward to turning the page on that and looking forward to going out and conducting a search for our new city administrator here,” said Mayor Stutte.

The hiring process will take three to four months to complete. As of now Baker Tilly is working with council members as well as staff to outline the traits they’re looking for. After that, they will start recruiting and finally there will be a few finalists that will eventually get to Hastings for an interview panel.

Chuck Rosenberg emphasized the fact that when working for the city, emails and texts can be used for public record as well as in a courtroom setting. Rosenberg also mentioned that the personal aspect of the emails raises another concern.

“If it was done on city time, that’s different you know I understand that he has to answer a lot of emails and it’s faster then to try and call someone but it still takes a lot of time and you know, that’s on taxpayers expense,” Rosenberg said.

Mayor Stutte said he’s looking to find someone that’s very forward looking, more customer service focused and that’s open to moving the community forward.

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