Case Review The Oakdale Administrator

The case study under review concerns the Oakdale administration and the involved decision making aspects. This paper also offers the understanding of whether there the chosen alternatives addressed of the issues or not. Moreover, there is a review of possible solutions to the problem.


It is imperative to go through the facts of the matter to gain an extensive understanding of the background of the story. The case occured in Oakdale, a city with a population of approximately 5000 people. The city is mainly comprised of lower middle class people and has its name based on the poor and dilapidated condition of housing in the area. In 2003, an election took place in the city that saw Ernie Hoefnagel taking the position of the town mayor. The election campaign strategy set by this mayor involved telling voters that after taking office, he would open up the city to more trade through increased investments and the provision of quality houses for people in the area.

Upon taking office, the new mayor made some changes that were deemed integral. One of the most notable changes that he made was the firing of the town administrator and replacing him with Angela Donny (Cropf, Giancola, & Loutzenhiser, 2015). Angela Donny was a corrupt politician who had been charged with different types of fraud in the past, and she had moved to eight different offices in the city in a span of 12 years. Despite the fact that she was still working in a public office during the time of election, she received the position of the town administrator.

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Decisions and Their Appropriateness

With regard to decision-making, different people made different choices ranging from appropriate to poor ones. One of the decisions made in the case was that of the people, or rather, the voting population, who voted for Ernie Hoefnagel as mayor. The decision was appropriate at the time of voting and the reason for was that the people did not know the actions that he would take upon becoming the mayor. The people in the town just wanted a person who would improve the state of the city. Thus, they ought not to have blamed the mayor for their own choice.

Another decision was the one made by Ernie Hoefnagel, who decided to fire the administration who had been running the town at that time. This judgment was appropriate for the manner in which the town administrators operated given that they had served in a manner that had only led to the increased poverty (Cropf et al., 2015). Another decision was the appointing of Donny as the new town administrator. Ernie Hoefnagel had received advice not to choose her, and the reason was that the people in the area had come to know of her poor operations and public service. However, Ernie Hoefnagel went ahead and appointed Donny ignoring the information provided by advisors. This decision was reckless of the mayor. Despite the increased criticism, the mayor stood strong and stated that the office required a female representative and that no other woman had the ability to occupy the position as well as she could. At that point, there was another decision made. When a person is in a position such as that of the mayor, he/she does not owe to anyone to state the reason why he/she carries out the actions in a particular manner. However, despite the egocentric nature of the mayor, in this case, it was noble of him to explain the reason for appointing Donny, and this was a good decision as it helped people to see him as a social person. However, despite the positive aspect of this the explanation, it is imperative to note that the action of appointing a poor administrator was still a terrible solution (Shafritz & Hyde, 2012).

It is the job of town administrators to offer project proposals, which lead to the initiation of projects throughout the town, as they often lead to the development of infrastructure (Milakovich & Gordon, 2013). When the city officials and contractors asked for such proposals, Donny lied and stated that she did not have them. It was a rushed decision of the office administrator, and it was a poor one as well. It led to the town failing to enjoy as many projects as there could have been, since the investors could not work without the requests for proposals (RFPs).

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After much investigation by the committee, it was discovered that Donny has a very poor office record. Based on this finding, the committee decided to fire her leading to her termination as the town administrator. This was an ethical decision of the committee for they saw the risk involved in having such a person head the office. It is imperative to understand that after the termination of her employment, Mayor Hoefnagel decided to resign from his office as well. This decision of the mayor was not appropriate, and the reason is that it showed some form of disrespect towards the voters who gave him a chance. Instead, he decided to quit due to the fact that the town administrator chosen by him was fired, while he himself would have made a better decision.

Alternative Solution

The mayor had the option of resolving the issue by simply appointing a new town administrator who would have had a clean record and would not risk worsening the state of the city. Transparency is rather imperative in any official institution, and the fact that the city administrator was not honest showed poor administration. A solution was simple and involved sharing the truth. Consequently, the town would have seen an increase in the number of investors and eventual improvement. The town was in a rather terrible situation, and it was vital to be solve this problem through the complete change of the administration running the town. The new faces would also appeal to the population, and people would have gained a genuine hope for the better future.


The issue analyzed in this essay is common to many different counties and cities within the country. Appropriate public administration is quite imperative in the modern world. The situation covered in this case is similar to the one that has occurred in Kiryas Joel, a small town in New York. The economy of the small town is challenged, and many people in such areas lead very poor lives. The main reason for such hardships is poor public administration, whereas some of the major positions are centered in the hands of corrupt and selfish individuals.

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