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Hunt for interim administrator to begin

Staff writer

Marion’s hunt to find an interim city administrator to fill in after the Jan. 12 departure of Brogan Jones will begin immediately.

City council members agreed Monday to have Gary Meagher and Jay Wieland, advisors for Kansas Association of City and County Management, start seeking an interim city manager.

Meagher is interim city manager for the city of Hutchinson.

Wieland is senior advisor for KACM, which seeks to support member managers, administrators, and assistants.

Councilman Zach Collett told council members he thought it would be best to get started on finding someone as soon as possible.

He asked Meagher and Wieland to come speak to council members.

“We understand the need for continuity of leadership,” Meagher said.

Meagher said the organization would reach out to people who might be willing to fill in until the city finds someone permanent. There is no charge for what KACM does.

People interested in serving as administrator would send resumes directly to the city, Meagher said.

Meagher said there is no way to predict how many people might be interested in serving in an interim capacity.

Collett said that incoming council members ought to have a voice in the process and that closed-door meetings with potential administrators should include newly elected council members.

Council members voted 3-1 with councilman Jerry Kline opposed to have Wieland and Meagher start trying to find someone.

Jones resigned the morning after a tongue lashing from Vice Mayor Ruth Herbel, who was not present at Monday’s meeting.

Herbel confronted Jones during the Nov. 13 council meeting over his having forwarded to other council members an Aug. 4 email she sent expressing concern over whether restaurant owner Kari Newell should receive a liquor license after losing her driver’s license years earlier.

When councilman Zach Collett got the email, he contacted Newell and told her about it, Herbel said.

Herbel said Jones had denied sending her email to other council members when she confronted him about it in August.

Jones responded: “I didn’t say that. I said I didn’t tell nobody but council.”

“You are a liar,” Herbel said.

Herbel said the episode was just one of several lies Jones had told her in the three months since the Aug. 11 raid.

Last modified Nov. 29, 2023

 

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