Burlington’s new city manager says he will spend his first few weeks on the job getting to know as many people as possible.
Jim Ferneau comes to town via Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, where he served as city administrator. He has been involved in city government for about 15 years.
Ferneau says he and his wife grew up in the Marshalltown area. They have nine children and are in the process of moving to Burlington.
Ferneau sees his role as city manager of Burlington as that of a facilitator. He says he may not always have the right answer, but he says he will work to find the person who does.
The city provided Ferneau with an email address to allow him to track issues coming before the city since he was hired. He says he also followed along through local media.
Ferneau says he will spend his first few weeks on the job trying to meet as many people as possible. He hopes people will forgive him if he forgets their name at first as he gets acquainted with the entire community.
One goal of the Burlington City Council is for Ferneau to take a close look at the budget and find areas to save money. He says the city is very low on funds, which is not good business.
He says a lot of factors are playing into that, which means there are plenty of issues to address and implement to get into a better financial position.
Ferneau says he will approach cooperative efforts with West Burlington and Des Moines County, among others, as warranted. He says he is excited for the opportunity to serve in Burlington and to also catch some minor league baseball games.
Ferneau replaces Doug Worden, who retired in December 2010.