Wakarusa has no Town Manager
Wakarusa has been without a town manager for months after former manager Tom Roeder retired last year. The town council didn’t have the time to start the process of hiring a new manager.
"Then they decided the first of the year they would wait six-months, evaluate the whole situation and then they would talk about what they wanted to do as far as hiring a new manager," explained Wakarusa Town Clerk Joyce Hartman.
Hartman is one of many officials taking on extra duties. The town marshal and engineer are also taking on more work as well as members of the town council. The clerk’s office is now handling issues like property regulation and Hartman has even started serving in committee positions usually held by the town manager.
"It's a little more work, a few more things to do,” Hartman explained. “It's not so overwhelming that it can't be done."
Hartman says residents shouldn’t be concerned about how well Wakarusa is functioning without a leader.
"It's been working fine, everything is still running,” Hartman described. “Everyone just tries to pick up a little extra work and we're all just working for the good of Wakarusa."
Hartman says Wakarusa is functioning just fine with the new system but she wants a new manager. However, some are questioning whether the town can save money by not hiring a new manager. The previous manager made $57,000 a year.
“With the economy the way it is that was part of the things that they were looking at,” said Hartman.
Residents have mixed feelings about not having a town manager.
"It's doing fine but I think every city needs a head someone to run everything to oversee everything," said Pam Geyer who works at a bank in Wakarusa.
The town council set a two-months past the six-month waiting period they wanted before trying to hire a new manager. They've still made no decision about whether they do want to hire a new manager.