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City admin post topic of special meeting
Council to interview job applicants
City administrator job could be filled by June
The Great Bend City Council Monday night gets ready to go into executive session to discuss applicants for the city administrator’s job. - photo by Dale Hogg

The Great Bend City Council will hold a special meeting at 4 p.m. Wednesday in its City Hall chambers at 1209 Williams St. The purpose of the meeting is to conduct an executive session for the interviewing of city administrator candidates. 

Since the city administrator is not an elected position, this is an allowable exemption from open meeting under the Kansas Open Meetings Act. However, this can be for discussion only, and action can only be taken in open session.

Representatives with the headhunting firm Strategic Government Resources of Keller, Texas, notified the city they had finalized their list of applicants, Interim City Administrator Logan Burns said, addressing the council Monday night. The company had received 16 applications by the Feb. 17 deadline and winnowed those down to what they recommended to the council.

Then, the council held a 20-minute closed-door session Monday night for a preliminary review of those who had applied. 

After the interviews Wednesday, council members will compare candidates and “what the best fit for the city would be,” Burns said Friday. There are no public receptions planned at this time. 

As for a time line for a new administrator to start, that would be dependent upon successful applicant’s current contract, if they have kids in school or other obligations, he said. It is likely the position will be filled by June.

Strategic Government Resources was hired in December 2022 at a cost of $8,500 plus expenses. They started work in January by interviewing council members and city officials about what they were looking for in an administrator.

In early January, the council picked Burns as the interim administrator to fill in as the search to replace Kendal Francis. Francis announced in early December he was leaving Great Bend to accept the city manager’s job in Hutchinson.


Francis took the Great Bend job in July 2018. He previously served as city manager in Coffeyville and city administrator in Lakin. He took over for Interim City Administrator George Kolb.

In September 2017, Kolb of Wichita was named interim city administrator. Until Kolb was appointed by the council, now-retired City Attorney Bob Suelter had been acting as the short-term interim administrator. 

Then, in February 2018, the council approved contracting with headhunters Slavin Management Consultants to handle the search. The city paid the Atlanta, Ga.-based firm $15,505 plus expenses.

In May 2018, the council met in executive sessions to narrow the field of applicants to three. There were closed-door interviews with the three, including Francis, which were followed by meet-and-greets with local business leaders and a public reception.

The appointment of Kolb was made necessary by the Aug. 16, 2017, retirement of City Administrator Howard Partington, who had been with the city for 36 years. Partington cited stress caused by the controversy between now resigned Police Chief Clifton Couch and the city as the reason for his departure.