The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

January 16, 2013

Councilman among transit director applicants

City to begin interviews in coming weeks, hope to secure director by mid-February or March

OTTUMWA — A selection committee will begin poring over applications for the Ottumwa Transit director’s position tonight, and one city councilman has thrown his hat in the ring.

City Attorney Joni Keith said she has received around 30 applications and they’ve come from the west coast, east coast, Ohio, Illinois, Arkansas and more.

“Some have some transit background, some have very little, but they might have more management experience,” she said.

Tonight, the selection committee will choose those they want to move forward to the interview process.

Councilman Jeremy Weller — who is also the current jail administrator — said he needs a change of scenery.

“10-15 Transit and Ottumwa Transit ... [I want to] get the services they provide back up to the expectations of what citizens want and need,” he said. “I would enjoy that challenge of doing that and utilizing my management skills I’ve learned over the years.

“It was a decision I made, not only me, but my family, my wife. We talked about the opportunity and we both thought it would be better for me, a good fit.”

Weller said his seven years supervising the jail qualify him for the management position.

As a councilman, Weller has analyzed Transit’s budget as well as the far larger city budget.

“I think there’s a need for someone who has some budget experience and I certainly have a knowledge of their budget and have worked on budgets as a city councilman,” he said.

And as far as reporting to the state and federal governments, Weller said he’s had that experience already at the jail.

“Really, what I would have to do on the transit side of it is not that much different,” Weller said. “If I was selected, I’m not going into this blind.”

Ottumwa Transit has seen two interim directors, Mark Hagist and currently Dave Silverio, and one director, Diane Gawronski, since former director Pam Ward was fired nearly two years ago.

“I think the situation after Pam left ... maybe the stress and intense scrutiny the department was under wore its course on some people,” Weller said. “I think we’re in a better position, obviously, than we were just a year ago financially.”

As a councilman, Weller said he would have to step down if he were hired.

“That’s why this was a hard decision because I do enjoy being on the council,” he said. “My intention was never to leave early.”

If he were to get the position, Weller said he wouldn’t be surprised if some in the public say it was rigged since he is part of city government.

“But to minimize that, I’ve only had one discussion with [Keith] and that was when I turned in my resume, I asked a couple of questions about the position and the hiring process,” Weller said.

Keith said she wants the interviews to take place next week and the following week so they can have a decision by the first week of February. She hopes the chosen director would then start by mid-February or the beginning of March.

“I want someone who has management skills, who has budgetary skills and I would like to have someone that has some transit experience and background, but it’s not the only criteria,” she said. “I want someone who is able to be a liaison with the City Council and the public and who is able to work with the 10-15 board of directors and the [Ottumwa Transit Advisory board].”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0802 OTT 73 Annual Golf Classic 73rd Annual Golf Classic OTTUMWA — There were a few records broken at the 73rd Annual Chamber Golf Classic Friday. "We had a record amount of people, and we also had a record amount of sponsors," said Tim Kurtz, executive director of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce. Fri

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Beach Task Force formation under consideration OTTUMWA — From the establishment of a Beach Task Force, to public hearings, to a discussion of open meetings rules and training, the Ottumwa City Council will have a full pate of items to digest during its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 5. The council will

    August 1, 2014

  • Sewer works starts on Glenwood OTTUMWA — The 900 block of Glenwood Avenue will be closed to traffic starting Tuesday, Aug. 5. Boitnott Enterprises will be closing that block of Glenwood for a repair of a sewer lateral. Motorists should seek other routes around the work zone. Thi

    August 1, 2014

  • Emergency Management Coordinator leaving OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisors are hoping to compromise and assign a tax sale certificate to property owners within the city of Ottumwa. On Tuesday, the board will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor meeting room to discuss a variety of issues

    August 1, 2014

  • CAUTION: Drivers will notice delays on Quincy Ave. OTTUMWA — Beginning Monday, drivers on Quincy Avenue will start to notice the beginning of a major reconstruction project in South Ottumwa. The right lane of northbound traffic on Quincy Avenue, from the car wash located near the Quincy Place Mall's

    August 1, 2014

  • Transfer of West Nile Virus First reports of West Nile Virus coming in OTTUMWA — Three cases of West Nile Virus have already been reported in the state of Iowa this summer, but the timing isn't much out of the ordinary, local officials say. Current surveillance data shows one case each in Clay, Monona and Woodbury count

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • WWI outbreak stranded Ottumwan in Paris

    OTTUMWA — Being stuck in Paris isn’t the worst thing in the world. The City of Light has always been a key stop for Americans traveling to Europe. It’s a city of culture, capitol of a world power. But Howell Cresswell, an Ottumwan in Paris, wanted no

    August 1, 2014

  • File.png Pleasant start to August

    OTTUMWA — Seasonal temperatures and a slight risk of rain herald the arrival of August in southeast Iowa.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Graham's presentation A sweet history lesson OTTUMWA — In one of the most popular monthly presentations the Wapello County Historical Society has ever hosted, it was standing-room only to hear the history of Graham Milk and Ice Cream Company and try some of the popular product. A landmark in Ot

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • Ready, set, shop! OTTUMWA — Iowa's government says businesses must participate in the Tax-Free Weekend this Friday and Saturday. Store manager Greg Martin isn't complaining. "It’ll be much busier [than typical weekends]. Back to school is the second busiest season nex

    July 31, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook