Fort Madison City Council meeting 12-5-23

Members of the Fort Madison City Council are shown during their meeting on Tuesday night. (Brad Vidmar/Mississippi Valley Publishing)

The City of Fort Madison has hired its new city manager, and for the first time in the city澳门开奖 200-plus-year history, the position will be held by a woman.

The Fort Madison City Council voted unanimously to approve the hiring of Laura Liegois during its meeting Tuesday night.

Liegois has served as city manager of Chariton, Iowa since June 2019.

鈥(Liegois) has advanced numerous initiatives for business growth, recreation, tourism, and overall community development in her time in Chariton,鈥 according to a press release on Liegois鈥 hiring provided by the City of Fort Madison, 鈥

Some of Liegois鈥 other successes during her tenure in Chariton also include:

  • The community澳门开奖 first new housing addition in 30 years;
  • A $2.6 million downtown square renovation project,;
  • A $565,000 splash pad project funded by $385,000 in grants; and
  • A $3.5 million sewer plant project funded by $500,000 in grants.

Prior to her time in Chariton, Liegois worked as a municipal consultant in areas such as grant writing, marketing, and solid waste management, including Fort Madison澳门开奖 standardized cart rollout for semi-automated collection several years ago.

Liegois also worked for the cities of Clinton (from 1997-2007) and her hometown of Muscatine (from 2007-2016) in solid waste management for nearly 20 years and holding title of education coordinator, director of operations and education and solid waste manager.

She earned her master澳门开奖 degree in public administration from Ashford University and has taught in the past as an adjunct professor for Eastern Iowa Community College.

Liegois鈥 hiring comes a little more than seven months after former City Manager David Varley resigned from his position on May 2, after months of searching for his replacement, and several closed session meetings held for council members to perform their due diligence and select the right candidate for the job.

Liegois鈥 first day for the City will be Jan. 22.

During Tuesday night澳门开奖 meeting, Liegois addressed the council via Zoom and said she was excited to begin serving in her new role.

鈥淭hank you for the opportunity to come to Fort Madison,鈥 Liegois said. 鈥淚鈥檓 excited...It鈥檒l be fast and furious these next few weeks as I finish up my duties here in Chariton and get ready to head to your community, which will be my new home.鈥

Liegois鈥 will be paid a $128,000 salary during her first year and her contract is a one-year contract that is renewed annually each year, with Liegois being subject to a six-month review performance with the option of a salary increase afterwards, according to Fort Madison Mayor Matt Mohrfeld.

Following that, Liegois will be eligible for the same payroll adjustment plan that all city department heads are eligible for, Mohrfeld added.

Commenting on the fact that Liegois will be the first woman to serve in the position, Mohrfeld said Liegois鈥 gender clearly wasn鈥檛 a mark against her as a candidate but was not the deciding factor either.

鈥淒o you always worry about making sure that we鈥檙e bringing a lot of balance to the table in candidates? Absolutely,鈥 Mohrfeld said. 鈥淎nd we were very direct to our consultant that we wanted to make sure that we were not neglecting 50 percent of the workforce.

鈥淲e wanted to look at as many people with as many different kinds of input that we possibly could. And Laura fit that bill very, very nicely. We narrowed it down to two candidates, but she just seemed like she was going to be the better fit for Fort Madison.

鈥(She might not have) as much experience as some, but our focus was on skills and attributes. She knows river towns. She knows Iowa. She澳门开奖 a go-getter. And I can work with her.鈥