Roeland Park hires interim city administrator to serve until replacement is found for Aaron Otto

Roeland Park has hired a veteran city manager to help run the city while a replacement is sought for City Administrator Aaron Otto, who is leaving his job to join the Johnson County staff.

Mark Pentz will work as the interim city administrator in Roeland Park
Mark Pentz will work as the interim city administrator in Roeland Park

The city council agreed Monday to an employment contract with Mark Pentz, who now lives in Kansas City, but retired in 2010 as city manager in Chandler, Ariz. Chandler, which is in the Phoenix metro, has a population of 235,000.

Pentz also has served as city manager in Rockville, Md., Leavenworth, Kan., and Mexico, Mo. He also has been an assistant in Liberty and Olathe. Pentz recently had served as an interim in Grain Valley. He has won the highest public management award given by the Kansas Association for City/County Management.

Councilor Becky Fast said Pentz had agreed to work just the hours needed to satisfy the job requirements and did not ask for extra compensation to cover benefits. He has a history of bringing the community together where he has worked, she said. He will be paid $48.02 per hour for his time in Roeland Park.

Pentz is willing to serve until the end of the year, if it takes that long to bring in an administrator.

The city is working with the League of Kansas Municipalities for a candidate search to replace Otto. An advertisement for the position shows a salary range of $85,000 to $100,000 and a salary survey of nearby similar sized cities showed salaries running somewhat higher than the city agreed to pay Otto in his most recent contract. Otto plans to move to the county in June.