• Last modified 1739 days ago (July 17, 2014)


Marion loses another city clerk

News editor

Woodrow Crawshaw has had enough.

Appointed April 14, he submitted his resignation as Marion city clerk Monday, effective Aug. 15.

“The frustration and stress I was experiencing was a 24/7 thing and was invading my sleep,” Crawshaw said Tuesday. “This just wasn’t as good a fit as I thought it was going to be.”

Crawshaw, whose prior experience included being a controller of a corporation with a $100 million annual sales volume, said frustration with the city’s management software was a key factor in his decision to resign.

“I just found it virtually impossible for me to go retrieve a report I needed or wanted,” Crawshaw said. “Roger was frustrated, too, because he wasn’t getting from me what he needed.”

Administrator Roger Holter said the city brought in two software consultants at a cost of $5,519 to provide Crawshaw training on the system.

The training wasn’t what Crawshaw expected.

“There was a backlog of bank reconciliations that they tried to do here, but they didn’t get it done,” he said. “Basically I was just a robot, and she was telling me what to do.

“To me a training visit is when you go into the program screens and look at the options there, and that hasn’t happened. Maybe that’s not what everyone needs, but that’s what I needed.”

The modular system is central to virtually all city operations, Holter said.

“We have that system for governmental management, and it’s a pretty expensive system. It really is integrated into all funds,” Holter said. “Just the list of accounts is 26 pages long, with I believe 50 accounts on each page.”

Crawshaw found the mounting tension from his inability to master the system bleeding over into the rest of his life.

“The dominoes were falling; the puzzle pieces weren’t fitting. It was eating my lunch,” he said. “The feeling in my gut was turmoil all the time, a tenseness I couldn’t get away from.”

Crawshaw notified Holter of his decision Monday, and change was immediate.

“Last night my sleep was totally different,” Crawshaw said Tuesday. “I slept like a log, and I didn’t have anything invade my head.”

The need to prepare the city budget for a public hearing and approval by Aug. 15 were the reasons Crawshaw chose to stay on through that date.

“I appreciate his personal integrity involved in it,” Holter said.

Searching again

Crawshaw was the third city clerk Holter has had since becoming administrator, and although he said the business world prepared him for change, the rapid turnover in the position has been challenging.

“By nature I smile a little more than I’m smiling right now,” Holter said.

Mayor Todd Heitschmidt said recruiting efforts will emphasize experience.

“One of our ads we’re working on is focusing on experience with the financial package,” Heitschmidt said. “It would be easier to find somebody with this experience, like an assistant clerk in a bigger city.”

The city participated in a salary survey conducted by the League of Kansas Municipalities, and Holter said for cities of similar size, Marion is competitive in both salary and benefits.

Heitschmidt said the city was trying to learn from the quick departures of the two most recent clerks.

“We’ll adjust accordingly. We want to give whoever is coming in the best possible start. That would look different for each individual person, depending on their experience.”

Last modified July 17, 2014