McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 9, 2013

City council OKs combining offices; holds off on creating new one

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — McAlester city councilors have passed a measure allowing City Manager Pete Stasiak to combine two new city offices — but balked at allowing him to create a new position without prior action by the council

City councilors took the action when they met in regular session at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the council chambers at City Hall.

They had previously authorized two new positions at City Hall — the positions of Planning and Community Development director, as well as the position of Economic Development director.

In addition, the city council had previously budgeted $75,000 for each position.

On Tuesday night, Stasiak had asked the council to authorize him to combine the two posts and to change the title to Community and Economic Development director.

Next, Stasiak wanted the council to authorize him to create the new position of Economic Development manager, who would answer to the Economic Development director.

Following some discussion, the council voted on an amended version of what Stasiak originally requested.

The measure, as passed by the city council Tuesday night, authorized Stasiak to change the job title of Planning and Community Development director to Community and Economic Development Director.

Councilors also authorized Stasiak to establish pay grades within the $150,000 budget for the two positions. In other words, if he wants to pay whoever becomes the new Community and Economic Development Director more than $75,000 a year, he can.

Stasiak told the council that he had an individual in mind who he would like to hire for the office of Community and  Economic Development director — but he said he has not yet offered him a job.

He said he’s keeping the names of all the applicants confidential. Once the job is offered and accepted, then the  application and name of the individual accepting the job would become a matter of public record, said City Attorney Joe Ervin.

At one point, District 3 Councilor Travis Read and Ervin disagreed on whether Stasiak was requesting creation of a new position in the city.

When Ervin told him that Stasiak was simply combining the two director positions already approved, Read noted that still leaves the new request.

“They’re establishing the new position of economic development manager,” Read said, noting the economic development manager is a different position than that of economic development director.

“Economic development manger is a new position,” Read said.

City councilors eventually passed the proposed measure unanimously — but only after dropping the provision suggested by Stasiak that would have allowed him to establish the new position of Economic Development manager.

City councilors didn’t nix the concept, but maintained the position of an economic development manager should first be created through a city ordinance.

Contact James Beaty at