Four candidates for the position of City Manager will be interviewed on September 9 and 10 at City Hall.

Mayor Kristey Williams and City Council Members announce that they will interview four candidates for the position of City Manager on September 9 and 10 at City Hall.

The preferred candidates, all with extensive municipal management experience, are: Leroy Alsup, most recently City Administrator at Catoosa, Oklahoma; Douglas Gerber, current City Manager at Goodland, Kansas; Gabriel Gonzalez, current City Manager at Rohnert Park, California; and Lynne Ladner, most recently City Administrator at Hiawatha, Kansas.

Leroy Alsup was the City Manager for two years at Catoosa, a full-service community in the Tulsa metropolitan area. Over his 30 years in municipal management, previous positions include County Administrator at Cowley County, Kansas, for seven years and City Manager at Coffeyville for ten years. Alsup cites accomplishments that include successful strategies for industrial development and job expansion, project leadership for financing and construction of numerous public facilities, and effective management of municipal electric utilities. He earned a masters degree in public administration from the University of Kansas, and the designations Credentialed Manager by ICMA (International City and County Management Association) and Certified Economic Developer by the International Economic Development Council.

Doug Gerber has a fifteen-year career in public service in Kansas, with ten years as a municipal government manager. At present and for the past four years, he has been City Manager at Goodland. Previous positions include City Administrator at Beloit and Assistant City Manager at Salina. His career has afforded him broad experience in creating regional service partnerships, reducing inefficient spending, developing a business park, and financing and managing infrastructure improvements. He has experience managing an electric utility at two communities. Gerber has a masters degree in public administration from Kansas State University. He has completed two community leadership programs and was selected for the 2013 Leadership Kansas program.

As Rohnert Park City Manager for the past three years and earlier as City Manager at Mendota, California, for six years, Gabriel Gonzalez gained across-the-board experience in municipal finance and service delivery. At Rohnert Park, he is credited for leading a near-bankrupt city organization out of crisis and to a solid financial recovery using budget cuts and imposing sound fiscal practices. Gonzalez cites creation of a customer-responsive City Hall, facilitation of a City strategic plan and recruitment of a new, award-winning energy plant among his accomplishments. He earned a masters degree in public administration from the University of California and designation as an ICMA Credentialed Manager. Gonzalez cites family connections to South Central Kansas.

In seven years as Hiawatha City Administrator, Lynne Ladner lists accomplishments that include securing $4 million in outside grants, recommending budgets that have held constant the property tax levy, providing leadership that contributed to development of a new business park and securing private investors for a new $4 million flagship hotel. Previously she was City Management Intern at the City of Belding, Michigan, which represented a departure from her earlier private-sector management career in manufacturing and retail. Ladner has a masters degree in public administration from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and has earned designation as an ICMA Credentialed Manager. Last year she was selected to participate in the inaugural ICMA Leadership Class.

“Our governing body has done a great job working together as a team during this recruitment process,” said Mayor Williams. “We are very pleased with the high quality of our finalists and look forward to selecting the candidate who is the best fit for our community.”

Selection of a City Manager began in June with City Council approval of a recruitment profile. Forty-five resumes for the position were received, and eighteen in this group met the City’s minimum qualifications. The City’s recruitment advisor and a Council sub-committee screened resume submissions based on the governing body’s preferred qualifications:

1) five years experience in state or local government management as a manager/ administrator or an assistant manager/administrator;

2) masters degree in public administration or related field from an accredited university;

3) previous experience in municipal utility management;

4) record of community involvement; and

5) designation as an ICMA Credentialed Manager.

In addition to an interview with the Mayor and City Council, the candidates each will be hosted for a luncheon, and tour of City facilities and the community. Thorough reference interviews and background checks also will be conducted.

City leaders hope to have the next City Manager on the job by Oct. 1.