City administrator weighing options for future of Housing and Community Development position

It has now been six months since longtime Marshalltown Housing and Community Development Director Michelle Spohnheimer departed from her position after 22 years to take a new job in the private sector, and since then, there has been little to no public discussion during city council meetings on if and when a replacement will be hired to take her place.

In an email exchange earlier this week, new City Administrator Joe Gaa told the T-R that Spohnheimer’s duties have been split among other city staff, and Gaa himself has overseen the Housing and Community Development department’s five employees — City Planner Hector Hernandez Morales, Code Enforcement Officer Joe Trowbridge, Rental Inspector Becky Deemer, Housing Administrator Geri Larson and Lead Program Manager Jackie Pippin.

“Since my arrival, I have taken over the direct supervision of the positions within Housing and Community Development. I have also been reviewing operations to see how that position might be structured in the future. Discussion regarding the future of this position will likely occur in the budget process,” Gaa said.

At presstime, neither the seven city councilors contacted for additional comment nor Mayor Joel Greer had responded, and although the T-R reached out to the department’s five employees, Gaa said they did not have media clearance.

A previous story published at the time of Spohnheimer’s departure indicated that the city intended to accept applications until the end of June and hire a replacement, but such a candidate has not yet materialized. According to data published in conjunction with the city’s salary study earlier this year, Spohnheimer was being paid $124,550 annually at the time she left.


Contact Robert Maharry at 641-753-6611 ext. 255 or



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