Assistant City Manager Josh Shaw was promoted to City Manager Monday night. Shaw has worked for the city for almost five years.
After a nation-wide search to find a city manager who lasted only a few short months, the Augusta City Council made the decision to hire someone who has served the city well for almost five years – including more than six months at the helm of city government.
Assistant City Manager Josh Shaw - who did not apply for the job when Bill Keefer left the city after 16 years to become City Manager of Grove, Okla. - received his second big promotion in the past few months Monday night as he was tabbed to be the next City Manager for Augusta. Shaw served under Keefer as Assistant to the City Manager. When Keefer left in May of 2013, Shaw became Interim City Manager and was elevated to Assistant City Manager after the hiring of Gabe Gonzalez.
When Gonzalez resigned at the last meeting, the governing body again turned to Shaw to lead the city until a new manager could be found.
That search led the council back to Shaw.
Shaw is a Belle Plaine native who majored in political science and philosophy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville before returning to the Sunflower State to complete a master’s degree in public administration at Kansas University.
After finishing his schoolwork, Shaw interned with the City of Ottawa, Kan. and spent a year as an intern in the office of Sedgwick County Manager Bill Buchanan.
Shaw said he learned a lot about the position working under Buchanan.
“I learned a lot from Bill Buchanan about how to deal with people,” Shaw said. “He taught how to be mindful of how policy decisions affect people. He is a tremendous individual.”
Shaw said he also learned a lot serving under Bill Keefer for several years.
That education and experience helped him lead the city during a difficult time after Keefer left. Shaw had to insure the city finished major projects like the Kelly-Ohio Intersection, the levee on the city’s west side, the dam and spillway project at the city lake, and manage the end of water restrictions after two years in addition to completing a budget for this year.
“The role as interim was really just to get the city from Point A to Point B without slowing down,” Shaw said.
Shaw and his wife Anndi, a teacher in the Augusta school system, have lived in Augusta for five years.
Shaw’s contract with the city runs from March 23, 2014 through December 31, 2016. He will be paid $97,000 per year with a $350 per month vehicle allowance. Shaw promised to give 90 days notice if he were to ever leave his employment while under contract. If the council were to terminate his employment, he would receive nine months of severance pay.