The City Manager finalists, all with extensive municipal management experience, are: Leroy Alsup, most recently City Administrator at Catoosa, Oklahoma; Bret Bauer, currently City Manager at Holton, Kansas; Lynne Ladner, most recently City Administrator at Hiawatha, Kansas; and Gerald Smith, most recently General Services Director at Kansas City, Missouri.
Leroy Alsup was City Manager for two years at Catoosa, located in the Tulsa metropolitan area. With a 30-year career in local government management, his previous positions include County Administrator at Cowley County, Kansas, for seven years and City Manager at Coffeyville, Kansas, for ten years. Alsup cites accomplishments that include successful strategies for economic development and job creation, leadership for financing and construction of numerous public facilities, and sound budget management practices. He has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Kansas, and the designations Credentialed Manager by ICMA (International City and County Management Association) and Certified Economic Developer by the International Economic Development Council.
Bret Bauer has been the City Manager at Holton, Kansas, for the past three years and most recently, was the Assistant City Administrator at Smithville, Missouri, located in the Kansas City metropolitan region. He has experience in economic development and recruitment of new businesses to Holton’s industrial park, and has addressed debt management challenges present in the City’s sewer fund when he was hired, resulting in a 50 percent reduction of the fund’s debt obligations. In his current position, Bauer has worked to strengthen partnerships among City government, the Chamber of Commerce and other local entities for the benefit of the community. He has a master’s degree in public administration from Wichita State University.
As Hiawatha City Administrator for seven years, Lynne Ladner obtained $4 million in public and private grants, consistently recommended budgets that held the line on property tax increases, and contributed leadership toward establishment of a business park and recruitment of private investors for a new $4 million flagship hotel. Previously she was a Management Intern for the City of Belding, Michigan, which marked a career change from her earlier management positions in the manufacturing and retail sectors. Ladner has a master’s degree in public administration from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and has earned the ICMA Credentialed Manager designation. She was recently selected as a participant in the first ICMA Leadership Class.
Gerald Smith’s career spans over 20 years in municipal management. As director of a large department at Kansas City for six years, he was responsible for an $89 million budget and 280 employees providing purchasing, fleet and facilities management, security, workplace safety and records management services. His leadership in energy conservation practices led to numerous awards for the City. Smith had earlier positions as the first Village Administrator in two cities in the Chicago metropolitan area, North Chicago and Riverdale, where he gained experience in infrastructure projects, economic development and use of related financing tools, and neighborhood redevelopment. He has a master’s degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University.