South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Crestwood public services director to step down

Crestwood Director of Public Services Jim Eckrich submitted his resignation to the city, effective Nov. 28.

Eckrich told the Call he has accepted the director of public works/city engineer position with the city of Chesterfield.

Mayor Jeff Schlink told the Call he does not expect the position to be filled by Eckrich’s resignation date.

“We would just rely on existing employees to pick up where Jim leaves off,” he said, “and I feel confident in those employees … We won’t be left in a lurch or anything like that.”

The process of hiring a director of public services, according to Schlink, will be different from the process the city currently is using to fill its city administrator position, for which a candidate search committee has been formed.

Fire Chief Karl Kestler has served as acting city administrator since March due to former City Administrator Petree Eastman’s separation from Crestwood.

Because the director of public services reports to the city administrator, Schlink said the city administrator will handle that interview process.

“With Jim (Eckrich) being done at the end of November, we’ll start the process with (acting City Administrator) Karl Kestler,” Schlink said.

Filling the director of public services position, according to Schlink, should not be as involved as filling the city administrator position unless Kestler puts a committee of department heads together.

Schlink also said he expects the job opening to be posted this week.

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 November 2003.

He was hired by Crestwood in March 1999 as a civil engineer.

The Board of Aldermen voted in July 2008 to name Eckrich city administrator.

In April 2011, Eckrich requested to return to the director of public services post and aldermen granted that request.

He earns a $90,000 salary.

Eckrich is the third employee to leave the city this year:

• Eastman left in March and reached a separation agreement with the city in May.

• Former Assistant to the City Administrator Nikki Koehnemann left her position in May. The post later was eliminated.

City Attorney Rob Golterman announced in September his intent to vacate the city attorney post at the end of the year. However, Golterman said he will remain in the position until a replacement is found.

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