Auxvasse alderman steps down to take job with city

— After finishing a business agenda that included approval and adoption of the 2014 budget, South Ward Alderman Mike Bertschinger resigned his position with the Board of Aldermen Wednesday night before the remaining members voted to hire him as the new City Supervisor.

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Mike Bertschinger

“We hate to see you resign, but it’s in the city’s best interests for you to move on to what you’re moving on to,” North Ward Alderman Mike Bickel said. “I think the whole next year we’re going to be in quite a state of flux — I think we’re going to find out a lot of things.

“We know Mike, he’s going to do the best job he can for us.”

Bertschinger, who is in his second year on the board, said after the meeting that he decided to apply for the job as a way to get even more involved with city business.

“I’ve always been impressed with the city. It’s just one more step to be more hands-on with how things function, and how things get done,” Bertschinger said, noting he has lived in the Auxvasse area for 16 years and in the city itself for seven.

He said his No. 1 priority when he starts his new job in January will be overseeing the city’s end of the water improvement project. The city supervisor’s duties also include providing oversight for the maintenance department, public safety, city hall and other city functions.

Asked whether hiring an active council member would be considered a conflict of interest, Mayor Kevin Phares said the council determined Bertschinger was the strongest candidate for the position.

“We felt Mike had the best knowledge of the city and the best background experience,” Phares said. “I’m looking forward to being able to spend more time getting city maintenance organized well, getting things done quicker, freeing up the clerks to do their jobs.

“With the big water project we’re undertaking, this gives us someone day-to-day, on-site working with the contractors. (This project) has been a long time coming, and we want to get it off the ground as quickly as we can now.”

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