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Centralia uses the Mayor/Board/Administrator structure of government as set forth in the Missouri State Statues for Fourth Class Cities. The City Administrator is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen. He or she has general superintending control of the administration and management of the government business, officers and employees of the City, subject to the direction and supervision of the Mayor. The City Administrator provides research and staff support for the Board of Aldermen, the Planning and Zoning Commission, and several other boards, commissions, and committees.
The City Administrator hires and supervises all city employees, except for those in the Police and Fire Departments and the appointive positions of City Attorney, City Clerk, and City Treasurer. He or she formulates and administers most of the day-to-day rules and procedures for City operations and is directly responsible for creation and implementation of the annual City Budget. The City Administrator oversees purchasing, contacting, and personnel administration. By City Code, the Administrator may function as the City Planner, City Building Inspector, City Engineer, City Traffic Engineer, Financial Secretary of the Water and Light Departments, and in numerous other roles. In practice, some of these duties are delegated or contracted to other agencies.
The City Administrator frequently represents the City at meetings of the Centralia Chamber of Commerce, Regional Economic Development, Inc., the Local Emergency Planning Committee, the Mid-Missouri Purchasing Cooperative, the Missouri Public Utilities Alliance, and the Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission. He is on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Rural Services Workers' Compensation Insurance Trust.
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Lynn P. Behrns has been Centralia's City Administrator since April 29, 1985.
Behrns earned a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1974. He previously earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Political Science and Economics from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1970.
Before Coming to Centralia, Behrns had been City Administrator of La Vista, Nebraska, City Manager of Kinsley, Kansas, City Planner for Rifle, Colorado, and Junior Staff Assistant for the State of Colorado, Division of Local Government.
In 1971 and 1972, Behrns served in the U.S. Army, including one year as a Specialist E-4 in the Republic of South Vietnam. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star for Service.
Behrns is a member of the International City/County Management Association, the Missouri CIty Management Association, the American Society for Public Administration. He is a member and past-president of the Centralia Rotary Club, and he served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Centralia Area United Way. He is presently on the Board of Directors of the Boone County Historical Society and a member of the Centralia Historical Society.
In 1989, he married Dr. Janice Wenger, a Professor in the Music Department of the University of Missouri, Columbia. They have no children.
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