Succession plan for Bettendorf city administrator position doesn't include timeline for transition

The Bettendorf City Council last month approved a succession plan for its city administrator without knowing when the transition would occur.

The week before Christmas, Bettendorf City Council members gathered in groups of three to avoid having to make public their meeting with City Administrator Decker Ploehn and Human Resource Director Kathleen Richlen. The purpose was to discuss a succession plan developed by Ploehn.

Ploehn, 70, had told the council over several years that he planned to retire once the new Interstate 74 Bridge was complete. The bridge opened last fall after a 10-year effort of planning, funding and construction.

But prior to completion of the bridge, Ploehn changed his mind. He now says his retirement might be "in six months or in two years."

At the December "information" meetings, Richlen outlined the plan to create a new assistant city administrator position with a salary range of $108,756 to $173,956 so Ploehn could provide training for his eventual replacement.

That new position, he recommended to council members at its January meeting, would be filled by current Economic Development Director Jeff Reiter, who would retain his economic development duties.

The resolution (shown below), passed unanimously by the council, outlines Ploehn's recommendation and the suggested salary range for the assistant administrator position.

Contacted recently about the new assistant administrator position, Richlen said Reiter will be paid $173,956, a $38,582 (29 percent) increase from his current salary.

The council recently approved a 5 percent increase in pay for Ploehn, who has been employed by the city for 32 years, to $232,748.


Resolution from January 17 city council information packet:

During Strategic Planning, succession planning was discussed with the administration area of the City. Along with the growth the City is experiencing, Council directed staff to create appropriate position to provide additional administrative support and assistance with City operations.

The job description was created to reflect the overall duties on of the position. The position is scored at a 219 pay grade which reflects a salary range of $108,756 to $173,956 annually. This position is a Department Head position that will report directly to the City Administrator.

Due to Jeff Reiter’s extensive background with City government, approximately 28 years working in the Parks Department, Family Museum and as the Economic Development Director since 2015, Jeff was chosen to expand his abilities by becoming the Assistant City Administrator – Economic Development. Jeff’s new position will work closely with the City Administrator, oversee Economic Development and Community Engagement.

Staff recommends council approval of the Assistant City Administrator – Economic Development position and pay range and the approval of the City Administrator’s appointment of Jeff Reiter to the Assistant City Administrator – Economic Development.

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