Des Moines Register
BYLINE: By, SARA SLEYSTER
She’ll start working as city manager there next month.
Marketa George Oliver will leave the city of Windsor Heights next month for her new position as city manager in Norwalk.
Oliver, 47, has been the Windsor Heights city administrator since 2000. The Norwalk City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to hire Oliver to replace longtime city administrator Mark Miller. Miller will retire from Norwalk on June 30 after 24 years of service.
“Norwalk’s a growing community, and I’m really excited about the development challenges,” Oliver said. “I really like the mayor and council. They are very energetic; they have this vision.”
She will begin in Norwalk on July 23 at an annual salary of $112,500. Her contract states she has one year to move to the city. Oliver and her family currently live in Des Moines.
Along with her wealth of experience, Oliver was chosen for her enthusiasm, said Norwalk Mayor Doug Pierce. Norwalk city officials conducted two rounds of interviews for the position after a contract agreement could not be reached with the first candidate. There were 115 applications for the job, and Oliver took part in both rounds of interviews.
“She impressed us both times, and we felt she was a good match,” Pierce said.
The Windsor Heights City Council will discuss Oliver’s departure at a previously scheduled meeting this morning, said Mayor Jerry Sullivan.
“We’re going to miss her,” Sullivan said. “She was, I would say, the best city administrator in the state of Iowa. She’s done a great job in the city, and I wish her well.”
Oliver will be in charge of all department leaders for the city of Norwalk. She will be tasked with creating a plan to update Norwalk’s aging sewers and streets and prioritizing capital improvement projects.
Miller, who helped lead Norwalk from a community of 3,000 people to nearly 9,000, said Oliver’s working relationships in the metro area will be an asset for the city.
“She’s recognized in her profession and seems committed to doing a good job here just as she did in Windsor Heights,” Miller said.
Oliver said she enjoys working on big-vision projects and said she’s proud of the work done at Colby Park, the community center, the Hickman Road redevelopment and the town center project during her tenure in Windsor Heights, population 4,891.
Oliver said she is excited about the possibilities ahead in Norwalk, but it is with mixed emotions that she’s moving on.
“I do really love the Windsor Heights community, but I think this is a terrific next professional step, too,” Oliver said.
LIVES: Des Moines
GREW UP: Burlington
FAMILY: Married to Ernest George; 12-year-old daughter
EDUCATION: Drake University, bachelor’s degree in 1988 and master’s in public administration in 1990
WORK HISTORY: City management position in Yakima, Wash., 1990-2000; city administrator in Windsor Heights, 2000-12
HONORS: First female administrator to receive the Joe Lukehart Professional Service Award by Iowa City/County Management Association
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