St. Charles officials are expected to name Public Works Director Mark Koenen as the new city administrator, avoiding a lengthy external search and the possibility of having to appoint an interim.
Mayor Ray Rogina confirmed in an interview he will recommend Koenen to succeed City Administrator Brian Townsend, who is leaving Aug. 31 to become the village manager in Schaumburg. Aldermen will vote on the appointment Aug. 19, but Rogina said he's already confirmed the necessary votes in direct conversation with aldermen.
"I'm confident it will be a unanimous vote," Rogina said.
Rogina said his consideration of Koenen developed while initially searching for an interim replacement for Townsend. Koenen said he would be willing to take on that role, but then Rogina found himself questioning the need to spend lots of money searching for an external pool of candidates.
"I had to ask myself, with all the different issues we're looking at -- First Street, the (Charlestowne) Mall, the Arcada -- do I want somebody in there who is an interim? Or, do I want somebody who is going to have ownership from day one? I have a theory that a lot of your talent can be homegrown. And it seems to me we have someone here who has the wherewithal, knows the community, understands budgets and has good working, respectful relationships with his peers."
Details of the Koenen's contract won't be finalized until the city council votes on the appointment. Rogina said Koenen has agreed, in principal, to accept the position. He has been the director of public works, the city's largest department, for 23 years. In that capacity, Koenen has an annual salary of $144,125. Health insurance and vehicle allowance pump his total current compensation up to $165,449.