Ken Murphy has been named City Administrator for the City of Grain Valley, a position he has held on an interim basis since former City Administrator Ryan Hunt’s departure last fall. Additionally, Theresa Osenbaugh has been named Deputy City Administrator after serving in an interim role for the same period.
The Board of Aldermen authorized Mayor Michael Todd during the March 9th Board of Aldermen meeting to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Murphy.
“They gave me parameters as to what they were okay with. This is different than what we have done in the past because in the past we had contracts with our City Administrators. This is like what we do with most employees when we hire them in and we negotiate a salary. So Ken does not have a contract and the MOU lays out his salary and his requirement to move to Grain Valley,” Todd said.
“Since the Board authorized me to negotiate the MOU and we were within the parameters, we came to the agreement and removed the interim title.”
The Board will vote to ratify the MOU at a future board meeting. The process has been delayed due to meeting cancellations caused by the COVID-19 related stay at home orders.
Osenbaugh was promoted by Murphy to Deputy City Administrator, removing the “interim” title once he was appointed City Administrator. Osenbaugh’s position is not a board appointed position.
“I can tell you that she has really been an asset to the City since she came on as City Clerk and she has taken on a lot as she has moved up,” Todd said.
An outside search for candidates was not conducted for both positions. Mayor Todd noted the cost of such a search and the background and qualifications of Murphy and Osenbaugh as primary reasons behind the decision not to open the positions to other candidates.
“Those searches run north of $20,000, and Ken has been with the City for a number of years in several positions. He has shined in every position he has been in and the Board has always been very happy with his job performance. He has a Master’s degree in City Planning and we felt that we didn’t need to spend the money to look outside the organization when we knew we had someone inside that was more than qualified,” Todd said.
“I’ve worked for the City in some capacity for almost fourteen years and I’ve enjoyed being a part of the growth that we’ve seen. I am extremely grateful and humbled that the Mayor and Board of Aldermen have shown the faith in me to name me the next City Administrator. A City Administrator is only successful if they have a great staff around them and I think we have a great staff that will guide us into the future,” Murphy said.
One of Murphy’s immediate challenges will be guiding the City through the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and related stay at home orders.
“As far as COVID-19 and its effect on the economy and our budget, it is very early, and we won’t know the full effect for some time. We are limiting spending on any non-essential purchases to make sure we are in as good of a place as possible. We have our finance team and financial advisors monitoring the economic climate as well as our revenue sources. With our fiscal year being the calendar year we aren’t faced with the challenge some other communities are in trying to forecast revenues for a new fiscal year at this point,” Murphy said.