By Allen Edmonds
PARKVILLE – Former Belton City Manager Alexa Barton was hired to serve as Parkville’s new City Administrator effective March 2, after a unanimous vote of the city’s Board of Aldermen Feb. 1.
Barton, who was removed by the Belton City Council on Oct. 12, 2021, after more than four years on the job, will replace Joe Parenti, who is retiring as Parkville’s City Administrator.
According to documentation filed with Tuesday’s agenda, she had been among 33 applicants for the position. Of those, four were called in as finalists, of which one accepted another job prior to the final set of interviews.
Barton, who attended Tuesday’s meeting, noted the presence of a couple of citizens with complaints for the board in her introductory remarks after receiving the support of the board.
“I love working in public government and I welcome the opportunity to be able to answer some of the questions and concerns I heard about earlier tonight,” she told the board. “After all, we all live here and we all want to make this a wonderful place to live, to call home, right?”
The concerns were unrelated to her selection to the position, though one citizen criticized Mayor Nan Johnston and the board for not waiting until after the April election to hire an administrator, since Johnston and at least one aldermen have decided not to run for re-election.
“I was born and raised in the KC region and I’m so tickcled to be able to come to Parkville,” Barton told the board.
Her contract calls for a $135,000 annual salary. She started in Belton in 2017 at a salary of $139,000.
She will officially begin her employment with Parkville on Feb. 14 so she can work with the
outgoing city administrator for two weeks.
Barton’s tenure with Belton began in 2016 under former Mayor Jeff Davis, who brought her on to serve as assistant city manager under longtime City Manager Ron Trivitt.
When Trivitt retired the following year, Davis championed her candidacy for the position with the city council, which hired her later that year.
Her tenure with Belton was controversial at times, with heavy employee and management turnover. One of the casualties of her time in office was former Fire Chief Norman Larkey, who is now mayor. Another was longtime City Clerk Patti Ledford.
Her tenure as City Manager, in fact, was a campaign flashpoint in last year’s mayoral race, as two of the four challengers for Davis’ former post, Larkey and Art Ruiz, stated they would not support her continued service in the position.
During the campaign, Davis defended her record, but the two-term incumbent wound up finishing third in the four-candidate race.