City manager Mike Randall last Wednesday signed a severance agreement with the City of Aurora, effectively ending his employment with the city. Randall held the position of city manager since October 2013 in his second stint as city manager, having previously served from August 1998 to January 1, 2000. The severance agreement included a payment of $150,000 from the city to Randall.

The agreement was offered after the city council voted unanimously to do so in a special closed session meeting.

In his capacity as city manager, Randall served on the board of the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments where he was elected to serve on the Executive Committee. He also served on the Transportation Advisory Committee of the Southwest Missouri Council of Governments and was elected to serve as the Vice Chairman of the Southwest Regional Solid Waste Commission. Randall served as a member of Rotary International and an “Ex Officio” member of the Aurora Chamber of Commerce. He served as a member of the Aurora Community Foundation of the Ozarks Economic Development Committee.

Randall also served as the Southwest Lawrence County Enhanced Enterprise Zone Administrator. In this capacity, he assisted a local industry to obtain property tax abatements that helped to ensure a major plant expansion. Another industrial company completed an expansion with the help of the receipt of several acres of land in the Industrial Park at no cost the business. Another industry in the Industrial Park is currently completing expansion plans.

During his term as city manager, Randall worked closely with the Missouri Highway Commission and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) in the early planning stages of a railway overpass on Highway 39. MoDOT has made a commitment to construct this project in 2018 at no cost to the city. Randall also worked with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to complete a $1.6 million project to improve major sewer lines running into the wastewater plant. The city received an $800,000 grant from DNR for that project.

Randall led the educational campaign to inform the public about a proposed half-cent Park and Stormwater Control Sales Tax. After conducting a town hall meeting and meetings with area civic organizations, the voters approved the measure. Already, two new sets of bleachers have been added to White Park since the adoption of the tax.

One of the major areas of focus during Mr. Randall’s tenure was to improve the attractiveness and safety of the community. With the combined efforts of the city and private property owners, approximately 40 dilapidated structures have been demolished. This effort included the demolition of a significant commercial property in the downtown area that had previously partially collapsed during high winds.

Randall also worked closely with area businesses. A small shopping center development was annexed into the city’s limits in return for receiving infrastructure incentives. A Tax Increment Finance District is being planned for another proposed shopping development planned for the south side of town. A dollar store is currently under construction located north of the railroad tracks.