Crestwood city administrator wants to return to previous position

Robinson says he supports decision by Eckrich on post.

By EVAN YOUNG

Crestwood City Administrator Jim Eckrich is asking the Board of Aldermen to return him to his previous position.

Aldermen were scheduled to consider naming Eckrich the director of public services when they met in open session Tuesday night — after the Call went to press.

If the board approves his recommendation, Eckrich would oversee both the departments of public works and parks and recreation. The change would take effect immediately. He also would serve as acting city administrator until a replacement is hired.

Eckrich believes the move is “what’s best for me and the city.”

The opportunity arose when Director of Public Works Dzenana Mruckovski resigned from her post last month to take a job at Washington University, Eckrich said.

“I thought about it and just came to the conclusion that I think it’s best for everybody if that’s the route we go,” he said, adding, “As the personnel director it’s my responsibility to recommend the person I feel is the best qualified. I’ve obviously done the position before and was successful at it.”

Eckrich was promoted in November 2005 to director of public services — at the time a newly created position — after serving as director of public works since September 2003. He was hired by Crestwood in March 1999 as a civil engineer.

The Board of Aldermen voted 7-0 during a closed session on July 8, 2008, to name Eckrich city administrator. Mayor Roy Robinson recommended Eckrich for the position out of more than 30 applicants.

Robinson said he supported Eckrich’s decision to return to his previous position but added that he was hesitant to comment further as it was a personnel matter.

Eckrich wrote in a memo to Robinson and the board last week that as director of public services:

• His salary would decrease to $90,000 from $93,000, effective on the new city administrator’s start date.

Eckrich’s initial salary as city administrator was $92,000. He previously was paid $89,000 as director of public services.

“Since that time all employees have received a $1,000 raise,” Eckrich wrote. “A salary of $90,000 would place me exactly where I would be if I had continued to serve as the public services director instead of accepting the promotion to city administrator.”

Mruckovski was paid an annual salary of $72,300 as director of public works.

Former Director of Parks and Recreation Amy Meyer was paid an annual salary of $65,000 prior to her resignation last year.

• Eckrich would be able to use the city’s 2008 Ford Escape, a vehicle he drove when he previously was director of public services.

• He would be paid salary and benefits for a minimum of three months if he were removed from the position without cause.