In a marathon meeting that ran almost three hours, the Glen Rose City Council on Monday night received petitions from citizens who want a city administrator hired, discussed the fiscal 2011 budget and hired an architect to help preserve Oakdale Park.

Former Citizen of the Year and landscape architect Karen Richardson presented the signed petitions, which number almost 100. She noted that at the last council meeting, members “chopped the legs off” a proposed city administrator position, which was included in the 2010 budget.

“Let's be honest,” Richardson said. “It will take the council six months to determine a job description” for a city administrator.”

Her comment referred to the council's decision at its budget retreat to create job descriptions, including one for a city administrator, which some concerned citizens felt was a “stalling tactic” to derail hiring a professional to run the city business.

Some citizens did not want to sign the petition for fear of retaliation from the city or because “they felt it would do no good,” Richardson said.

Mayor Pam Miller asked if all those signing the petitions were Glen Rose residents.

Some were business owners who resided outside the city, but they “pay city taxes and pay quite heftily,” Richardson responded.

Darrell Best, president of the 4b Tax Advisory Board, gave the council the 4b corporation's proposed budget and request to switch more than $32,000 to promotions for economic development purposes. Best said the board also wants to hire an outside auditor.

Best said the board wanted an independent audit because “there are some discrepancies” in some of the 4b's financial figures.

Among the economic development projects the 4b wants to pursue are establishing a Main Street Program to revitalize downtown, erecting four etched stone welcome signs at the western and eastern entrances to Glen Rose and building a pedestrian bridge to connect downtown with the River Walk.

“Personally, I think that would be one of the most important things,” Mayor Pam Miller agreed.

The council also voted unanimously to hire Gene Brode, who has served on the city's Preservation Board, as the preservation architect to oversee work on Oakdale Park. Brode said his view is to keep the renovations that city crews have made so far and see if historical markers still can be obtained without ripping out aluminum windows and other modern fixtures that have been installed.

The council also decided not to hire a new city manager for Oakdale Park until it can determine a description of job duties. Former manager Cindy King recently was fired for alleged inaccuracies on her time sheet (see related column on the Opinion page). The council will take up the hiring at its next meeting.