The Alexandria City Council unanimously voted to institute a new city administrator last night. David Plummer, who will begin his duties as City Administrator next month, will be the first person to hold in the position in nearly 30 years.
“We did a pretty exhaustive search,” said Mayor Andy Schabell. “We had a lot of quality applicants. At the end of the day, Mr. Plummer was the best.”
Plummer is an Alexandria resident and was born in Campbell County. He grew up in Newport and earned a B.A. in political science from Xavier University and a Master’s Degree in Metropolitan Governance from NKU. He currently serves as the City Administrator for Union, KY, where he has worked since 2017. The Northern Kentucky City/County Managers Association recognized Plummer as the City/County Manager of the Year in Dec. 2021.
“Alexandria is a beautiful city,” Plummer said at the meeting. “It’s the city that my wife and I decided to put down our roots in.”
In spite of the unanimous vote, one council member, Tom Baldridge, expressed skepticism about the necessity for a city administrator.
“I will tell you that I’m just not convinced yet that we need one,” Baldridge said, wondering if the money may be better spent elsewhere.
“With all this inflation going on, we’ve got a lot of additional cost,” he said.
Yet, even though he expressed reservations, he eventually went along with the rest of the council: “I’m going to give you a shot, and I’m going to support you.”
Other council members were more optimistic. Councilman Steven Shinkle was glad that there would be someone who could manage the day-to-day operations of the city on a full-time basis, given that most of the council members, as well as the mayor, have jobs in addition to their duties as city officials.
“A lot of things aren’t being touched in the city,” Shinkle said. “And there’s a reason why they aren’t being touched—we don’t have the time to do it.”
Councilman Stacey Graus added that a full-time city administrator would be integral in carrying out a city campus development project, which would be difficult to manage without full time oversight.
“We’re going to be embarking on quite a project to create our new city complex,” Graus said. Now that the city has an administrator, he said, “I don’t intend for that to happen in eight years. I intend for that to happen in the next couple of years.”
Graus also attempted to assuage councilman Baldridge’s trepidation.
“With an excellent city administrator, you can make money or save money with regard to the assistance they can provide,” Graus said. “Whether it be with grants, whether it be with just management, employee management, a variety of things that they can put their hands in. That can really help, and that’s what we’re looking for.”
When asked about what he was looking forward to as the new administrator, Plummer said, “Just being able to affect the community I live in.”
Plummer will begin managing the city of Alexandria on Nov. 14.