Early Tuesday morning, Kevin Stahr had a press release out on the house fire in Eagle Brook that the Geneva Fire Department responded to at 1:26 a.m. that same day — a response time residents might not have seen in the past.
And it's just one small example of what Starh and the city hope to do with the newly-created position.
“In today’s digital age, the public expects timely and thorough information about what’s going on in our city,” City Administrator Mary McKittrick said. “We believe by providing a higher level of communication to our citizens and business community, we can improve accessibility to information and strengthen public participation."
The communications coordinator position was created several months ago, after the city hired Voorheez Associates to analyze city's organizational efficiency. The March report indicated Geneva was understaffed in comparison to other communities and recommended the communications position in part because communications efforts took IT personnel and other employes away from their core functions.
The communication coordinator oversees the public information distribution for the city of Geneva. Stahr's responsibilities are wide-ranging and include news releases, GenevaMail weekly eblasts, the city's quarterly electronic newsletter and a variety of printed marketing materials.
He serves as the point person and city spokesman for city-related media requests, manages the city’s social media accounts, oversees content management of the city website, shoots still photography of city events, updates the city’s Information Phone Line, works with programming for Geneva Broadcasting Network and coordinate news conferences — meaning he pretty much does it all.
"I work closely with the city administrator and department heads to promote city services, programs, events and community alerts to keep Geneva residents in the loop of what is going on in our community," he said.
Stahr has first-rate credentials for the job, coming from the public information ranks of the city of Aurora, where he worked from 2010 to 2013. Prior to that, he was news editor for Suburban Life Publications, where he oversaw news content for seven communities in DuPage and Cook counties."Kevin brings an impressive background and experience to head our communication efforts," McKittrick said. "With his experience as a news reporter, news editor and municipal public information coordinator, he is a great addition to our team, and we are looking forward to the new insights that he will contribute in providing the highest level of public service possible to our community.”
Stahr can be reached at 630-938-4636 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.