Vacanti to move city forward as interim city administrator

Nick Johansen
The Red Oak Express

The City of Red Oak’s temporary city administrator and city clerk has hit the ground running.
The Red Oak City Council approved a professional service agreement with Al Vacanti of Vacanti Municipal Services on a three month interim basis at its Dec. 5 meeting. Vacanti started in the position on Dec. 6.
Vacanti has served as a city administrator, as well as a city clerk/administrator for roughly 14 years in Nebraska before retiring in 2019 and creating his consulting services. Vacanti said he met Mayor Shawnna Silvius during training in Lincoln a couple of months ago for certification for community development block grant administration, which led to the offer to come to Red Oak.
“We talked a little bit at that time, and then the events took place here, and evidently she knew some people in Nebraska I was not aware of. They must have said something nice about me, because the next thing I knew Councilperson Tim Fridolph reached out to me and asked if I was available. I said yes, and we worked things out, so that’s how I’m here,” Vacanti said.
Vacanti added that things have been good so far as he settles into the temporary positions.
“I feel welcomed, and the office staff here has been very helpful and patient. They’ve asked me to do some things that I’ve been willing to do, and they’ve allowed me to go through some of the information that former city administrator Brad Wright left.  I very much appreciated that, because it’s shown me some of the things I need to know early on. It’s a different process between Nebraska and Iowa, but ultimately, it’s still numbers,” Vacanti explained.
Vacanti said he’s also been contacted by some city administrators in other parts of the state that have offered to assist him in the process, and he wants to have things put in good order before his time ends with the city.
“I’m going to be gone in March, and I don’t want to leave anything messed up. I want to make sure it’s done right, because they have trust in me, and I want to reward that,” Vacanti commented.
Now that his first foray into city administration in Iowa is underway, Vacanti said he may be interested in other work in Iowa, should his goal to serve Red Oak well is realized.
“Then I’ve got a mayor and some council people and some citizens who have connections in other cities that may know another town up the road that is in need of something or needs some help for a few months or whatever the case may be. Plus, I’ll have the experience of going through  an Iowa budget once, and while I may not have all the answers,  I’ll have gone through it,” stated Vacanti.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

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