City seeks good manager, not engineer, in new Water and Light director

Wednesday, June 9, 2010 | 1:00 p.m. CDT; updated 7:20 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, June 9, 2010

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Water and Light director manages a multimillion dollar budget and oversees the water and electric utilities that serve roughly 88,000 consumers. The city is trying to fill this position.

The public is invited to meet the three candidates at a reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.  Friday in Rooms 1-A and B in City Hall. 


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The Columbia charter used to require the Water and Light director to be a Missouri certified engineer, but it was expensive to hire a director who was an engineer and possessed the necessary management skills. On April 6, voters approved Proposition 4, which amended the charter to remove that requirement.

Because there are multiple engineers among the 244 Water and Light employees, the city is looking to hire a director who focuses on conservation goals and presenting a balanced budget.

Margrace Buckler, director of human resources for the city of Columbia, said the salary range for the job is $76,000 to $160,000 and will be negotiated by the city manager.

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