City restructures community development position

The city’s community development department has undergone a change, with a position returning that had been in place four years ago.

Robin Hilber, who had most recently been with Cummins Inc., has been hired as the city’s community development programs coordinator. That position replaces the communication and program coordinator role in the department, which had been held by Mike Nolting.

The programs coordinator role existed in 2012, but was restructured into the communications position by former Mayor Kristen Brown, said Mary Ferdon, executive director of administration and community development.

The job was initially intended to coordinate and manage state and federal grants, tax abatement processes and other community development programs, Ferdon said.

However, the position created by Brown was designed to serve primarily as a spokesperson for the city while handling only a small portion of the programs coordinator’s work, Ferdon said.

Because of that shift in the workload, Ferdon said some of the tasks that were supposed to be completed by the programs coordinator were not getting done.

The creation of Hilber’s position does not add a new job to the city’s workforce, but instead restructures the communications and programs coordinator back to a solely programs coordinator position, Ferdon said.

Hilber will take over the grants, tax abatements and other programs for the community development department, Ferdon said.

Nolting said he was notified in a meeting during the second week of January that his job was being restructured.

During that meeting, Nolting said human resources director Arlette Cooper Tinsley encouraged him to apply for the newly defined position. However, Nolting said Ferdon told him that the new administration was moving in a different direction.

Nolting said he was interviewed for the position Jan. 25, and was notified Feb. 4 that he did not get it. His last day with the city was Friday, Nolting said.

Nolting said he was disappointed that he didn’t get a chance to contribute much during the first month of the new administration. He said he had just one assignment — to research a chicken ordinance.

“I sat there for 20 days and I did nothing,” he said.

Although he had updated the city’s website almost daily since joining the community development department Aug. 3 of last year, Nolting said his administrator access to the website was removed after the new administration began its work.

Nolting — who labeled himself as a Brown supporter in the mayoral campaign — said he felt that was held against him.

Hilber was selected because of her background in project management, Ferdon said.

Hilber was most recently a compliance engineer for Cummins, but had earlier served as a project manager for the Community Education Coalition.

“She’s lived in the community for 20-plus years, so she has good connections and a good understanding of how the community works,” Ferdon said. “With her connections and her project-management ability, it was a very good fit.”

Hilber will earn $47,500, nearly $1,400 less than Nolting’s annual salary of $48,888, which was at the top of the scale. Minimum salary for the position is $34,222.

About Robin Hilber

Before becoming the community development programs coordinator, Robin Hilber worked as a compliance engineer for Cummins, Inc. She has also worked as a project manager for the Community Education Coalition. In that role, she served on the Lumina Community Partnership for Attainment, Afterschool Coalition of Bartholomew County and Lead the Way, for which she chaired the pre-K communications committee.

Additionally, Hilber has worked as an investment representative at Hilliard Lyons and vice president and assistant treasurer for Irwin Financial Corp.. She holds a degree in business finance from Indiana University.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.