City Update: A biweekly update with Steve Barg
By Kris Leonhardt
In our bi-weekly meeting, Marshfield City Administrator Steve Barg discusses fire arms signs and police chief recruitment.
Fire arms policy
Discussion on the “No firearms” signs at the entrances to city hall made a return to council discussion on July 27. The matter was last discussed in 2019, whether to keep the signs or remove them, and brought back to the council by Alder Adam Fischer.
Barg said that there are two distinct and fairly equal schools of thought on the matter.
“These kinds of issues bring a lot of intensity, a lot of passion. People feel really strongly,” he said.
“We have had signs up going back to the days when we were in the old building prohibiting carrying their weapons into city hall.
“I think that we want to make a thoughtful decision based on best evidence and the best information we have.
“These are tough issues. You can see they are tough issues when you turn on cable news. You see people with good arguments on both sides. You know it’s going to be tough for local officials too.”
Barg said the matter will likely be placed in front of the council again in the next 30-60 days.
Police Chief Recruitment
During a July 8 special meeting, the Fire & Police Commission brought forward a recommendation to have city staff create a request for proposals for professional executive protective services recruitment firms to aid in the police chief recruitment process.
“Again the premise here is do you want to do it internally or externally?” Barg said.
“I don’t mean consider internal candidates or external candidates for the position. What this means is who would lead the recruitment process.
“I think the thought was, in this case, we would do best to have an external recruiter. External recruiters would do a lot of the work that we would do internally if we had our HR director, Jennifer Rachu, and others working together.”
Barg said that an external recruiter would have the ability to reach out to candidates that the city might now know about.
“It might bring in more external candidates than you would get without an external recruiter…” he added.
“The Fire & Police Commission has made it very clear that they are going for the best candidate, whether it’s someone who works for the police department here now or whether it’s somebody who works in central Missouri.”
The request was passed by the council on July 27.