South Sioux City City Council President Oscar Gomez was named assistant city administrator Monday night after a unanimous vote by the city council.
Gomez abstained from the vote.
There were 26 applicants for the position, which carries an $85,000 salary, that were interviewed by the city council. Eventually, the decision was narrowed down to three applicants and finally down to Gomez who has served on the city council for 12 years.
“We're confident Oscar will do a great job working with Lance (Hedquist, city administrator) and moving the city forward,” said Mayor Rod Koch.
In order to accept the position, Gomez had to resign his role from the city council. The city will have 40 days to either hold a special election or appoint a new council member, according to city attorney Michael Schmiedt.
“Being in the council for the last 12 years has been an honor,” Gomez said. “I'm a longtime member of this community and I'm looking forward to working with Lance and making it better.”
The assistant city administrator position was created with succession planning in mind, said Hedquist.
“Having a back-up for the city clearly makes sense to do,” he added. “Many cities our size have assistant city administrators. It's not unusual.”
In a press release distributed by the city, Gomez was chosen for the position because of his business administration degree from Briar Cliff University, his great understanding and rapport with the community, strong financial background, and his South Sioux City residency and role as a family man, among other reasons.