Topeka governing body continues efforts to pick new city manager

All five finalists for Topeka’s city manager job remained in the running after the city’s governing body met for about three hours and 45 minutes in executive session Friday to continue its efforts to choose a new city manager, said Mayor Larry Wolgast.

 

Governing body members asked a representative of Strategic Government Resources, the Keller, Texas-based search firm that’s helping them find a city manager, to acquire and provide them more information they’ll need to proceed, Wolgast said.

SGR was represented at Friday’s meeting by Doug Thomas, its senior vice president for recruitment.

It wasn’t clear whether Topeka’s governing body would host any special meetings to discuss the topic prior to its next regularly scheduled meeting, which will be Aug. 8.

That body, which consists of the nine city council members and Wolgast, met behind closed doors in executive session from about 8:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. Friday at Topeka police headquarters, 320 S. Kansas Ave.

Before voting to go into executive session, members voted to disregard a council rule that would have required interim city manager Doug Gerber to attend Friday’s meeting.

Gerber, Topeka’s former deputy city manager, has been interim manager since former city manager Jim Colson resigned last October to return home to Arizona.

The five finalists being considered to replace Colson are Gerber, who has been since with the city since 2014; Jeffrey Dingman, deputy city administrator since 2011 for Fort Smith, Ark.; Jason Gage, Salina’s city manager since 2005; David Hales, city manager since 2008 for Bloomington, Il..; and Brent Trout, city administrator since 2007 for Mason City, Iowa.

Friday’s special meeting continued a conversation begun six days earlier, when the governing body took no action after spending nearly 12 1/2 hours interviewing the finalists and discussing their qualifications.

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Contact reporter Tim Hrenchir at (785) 295-1184 or @timhrenchir on Twitter.

 

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