Topeka governing body to discuss contract negotiations linked to potential city manager hiring

A special meeting of the Topeka City Council has been scheduled for Friday to discuss contraction negotiations to hire a new city manager. The five finalists for the vacant city manager’s position are, from left, Jeffrey Dingman, David Hales, Doug Gerber, Jason Gage and Brent Trout. (Topeka Capital-Journal archives)

A special meeting of the Topeka City Council has been scheduled for Friday to discuss contract negotiations to hire a new city manager.

 

City officials on Wednesday weren’t revealing the identity of anyone with whom the city may be negotiating.

The city’s governing body, consisting of the nine council members and Mayor Larry Wolgast, will meet at 10 a.m. at the Law Enforcement Center, 320 S. Kansas Ave., the city revealed on its website.

“After calling the meeting to order the body will recess into Executive Session to discuss those who have been identified as finalists for the Topeka City Manager and the associated contract negotiation process,” the site said.

The meeting will be broadcast live on City4, the city government’s cable TV channel.

The governing body is seeking to replace former city manager Jim Colson, who resigned last October to return home to Arizona. Doug Gerber, Topeka’s former deputy city manager, has since been serving as interim city manager.

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, Ill..; and Brent Trout, city administrator since 2007 for Mason City, Iowa.

The governing body hasn’t since made public any decisions it may have made regarding narrowing the list.

That body spent nearly 12 1/2 hours behind closed doors in executive session on July 22 interviewing the finalists and discussing their qualifications. They then continued discussing the topic in executive sessions for about three hours and 45 minutes on July 28, and for about 35 minutes Tuesday evening.

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

 

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