After nearly six years and multiple tenures, former Camdenton City Administrator Jeff Hancock announced his retirement from the position last July. After a search to fill the vacancy by the mayor and other board members, Jeff Hooker was announced as Hancock’s replacement and officially took office on January 6, 2020.

After nearly six years and multiple tenures, former Camdenton City Administrator Jeff Hancock announced his retirement from the position last July. After a search to fill the vacancy by the mayor and other board members, Jeff Hooker was announced as Hancock’s replacement and officially took office on January 6, 2020.

Hooker comes from 27 years experience with Illinois Corrections and moved to the lake in 2016. He worked an assortment of supervisor and administrative positions and wanted to work in the same line of work at the lake. At the time, there wasn’t a ton of opportunities for that skill set. His family then made move to Mississippi and Florida for work, but didn’t get the desired small-town feeling from either location. That’s when he saw the open City Administrator position in Camdenton.

Having previous work experience as a substitute teacher within the Camdenton school district, Hooker felt that having Camdenton as home for his family would be a great fit. He applied for the job, met with the city board and was eventually offered the position.

“I was looking for a place where I could pull up to the gas station, run in, grab an iced tea and leave the car running,” Hooker said. “We felt that sort of friendly environment in Camdenton.”

Though moving from a security background, Hooker feels the move to city administrator is exactly what he was looking for as a next step in his career. With the many projects the city is in the midst of, including the city community center project, airport upgrades and possible OTC campus, he feels that there is enough on his plate to get him set into the role right away.

Hooker sees making sure that every citizen has a voice as one of the key elements of his position. He says that, before he works efficiently with all areas of the city, he needs to talk and better learn the roles that they each play. This means going out with members of the city and seeing the actual work they perform to learn their possible needs and to understand their service to the city.

Looking forward, one of Hooker’s main goals is to better expand on the retail side of the city and to provide as many services to the residents as possible. If the vote with OTC was to pass, he says that it would open up a large opportunity for the town to capitalize on the students who would be located for school. This ranges from jobs to need for retail shopping and other services. He says that the work Hancock did over his service time was a good blueprint to work off of and expand on.

Overall, Hooker says that he wants to hold an open door policy and all resident needs into account. He says that hearing the concerns and needs of the community firsthand is the best way to serve the city and to fulfill his role.

“I’m the type of person that will get you an answer,” Hooker said. “It may not be the answer you want, but I’ll get you an answer. And when I say I’m going to do something, I’m gonna do it. That’s been a success for myself going through life, just being upfront and honest with people. I’m here to serve them, not myself.”