By Jackie Nelson
The City of Hesston will have a new Administrator at the helm beginning in December.
On Monday evening Mayor Dave Kauffman appointed Gary Emry as the incoming City Administrator after a search process and interviews with the City Council.
Mayor Dave Kauffman said Emry stood out from a pool of 25 to 30 candidates.
“We probably had 25 to 30 applications for the position. Jason Thrasher did a great job of helping us narrow down the candidates by looking at their experience, background, strengths and weaknesses, etc. We invited our top 4 candidates to visit Hesston and spend the day with John Carder, before the council interviewed them that evening,” said Kauffman.
Kauffman said Emry stood out based on his experience as an administrator and diverse work-history.
“Gary had a broad range of experiences that make him uniquely qualified. He interviewed extremely well. He came across as being very personable, smart and organized. His background includes many years in the military, experience as a chamber of commerce director and an excellent record as a city administrator,” said Kauffman.
Emry is currently the City Administrator for the city of Girard, located in the southeast corner of the state with a population of 2,789 as of the 2010 census.
Emry comes to Hesston as a seasoned Administrator.
“I cut my teeth as a municipal manager here in Girard in 2008. Having worked in the Chamber of Commerce world for ten years, I had always worked closely with city government and it was from that experience I became interested in municipal management, sort of a natural transition,” he said.
Emry said he was familiar with the Hesston community well before applying for the position of Administrator.
“I actually lived in Augusta from 1991 to 2002. During that time, I traveled around the South-central Kansas region on business quite often. I had previously attended business meetings in Hesston and was somewhat familiar with the community prior to this opportunity,” he said.
Emry said in further researching the community, he was impressed with the groundwork laid by current City Administrator John Carder as well as the local government.
“First and foremost, as I mentioned earlier I feel comfortable with the "fit"; my skill set with community opportunities. Beyond that, I was very impressed with the community and the leadership,” he said.
As he toured the community and spoke with residents, Emry said discovered residents enthusiastic about their city.
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