The Great Bend City Council Monday night appointed Jason Cauley as director of Public Works. The action followed a 20-minute executive session.
Cauley has served the past 12 months as assistant public works director, City Administrator Kendal Francis said. “During that time, he has immersed himself in the department, overseeing its day-to-day operations, with little supervision needed.”
Cauley has a very well-rounded knowledge of all facets of the department, and has used that knowledge to improve service delivery, he said. “Jason desires to improve his technical knowledge as well as his leadership and supervisory abilities. He is quick to ask questions and research topics about which he is unfamiliar.”
Francis said Cauley inherited multiple departmental issues and has proven his willingness and ability to address difficult situations. “He has the earned the respect of his employees and has built a solid rapport with other senior staff. Jason takes a “hands-on” approach, leading by example and is focused on serving the citizens of Great Bend.”
Therefore, he recommended Cauley be promoted. Public Works Director Charlie Suchy retired in June 2018. He was replaced by Simon Wiley who resigned abruptly in October 2019, and the city has been without a Public Works director since.
Great Bend City Council meeting at a glance
Here is a quick look at what the Great Bend City Council did Monday night:
• Appointed Jason Cauley as director of Public Works. Cauley has served the past 12 months as assistant public works director.
The action followed a 20-minute executive session.
• Approved a bid from Marmie Auto Group for two 2021 Ford three-quarter-ton crew cab 4x4 pickups for a total cost of $64,440 for the Public Works Department.
They are replacing two older trucks, a 2001 Dodge used by the Wastewater Division with 140,479 miles and a 2010 Ford F-150 used by the Water Division with 120,010 miles. Both trucks have had past mechanical issues, Cauley said.
He said they want to upgrade some their fleet trucks to four-wheel drives with crew cabs to better tow loads, move crews to job sites and access hard-to-reach areas. Also, they need for the extra cab room to carry items that cannot be stored in a toolbox or bed of a truck.
They received three bids and Marmies was the higher bid at $32,220 per truck. But Marmies is local and that $500 per truck difference is within the 5% local allowance per the city’s procurement policy, he said.
The other bidders were Janssen Motors of Larned and Rusty Eck Ford of Wichita.
• Heard an update from City Administrator Kendal Francis. He focused on ongoing city projects, including the upcoming resurfacing of most of 10th Street.
• Approved the 2021 contracts with Liberty, Buffalo, Great Bend and South Bend townships to provide the fire service. The current rate has been in place since 2016, and the new contract rate for 2021 includes a 4% increase. The township contract runs from Feb. 1 through Jan. 31, 2022.
The rates are: $23,626 for South Bend; $18,687 for Liberty; $62,552 for Great Bend; and $28,986 for Buffalo.
• Named the Great Bend Tribune as the official city newspaper.
• Approved abatements at: 2525 1/2 9th, accumulation of trash/refuse, WHB Inc.; 505 Morphy, accumulation of trash/refuse, Erika Elliott; 318 Evergreen, accumulation of trash/refuse, Helena Hernandez; 323 Hickory, accumulation of trash/refuse, Isabel Quezada; 301 Cedar, accumulation of trash/refuse, Kathy Thacker and Mike Schroeder; 1705 Baker, accumulation of trash/refuse, Maribel Moreno; 1612 Holland, accumulation of trash/refuse, Raul Alberto Gonzalez; 805 Adams, accumulation of trash/refuse, Daniel Frost; 804 Adams, accumulation of trash/refuse, Tony Jones; 801 Madison, accumulation of trash/refuse, Bankers Trust Co. of CA NA; 821 Adams, accumulation of trash/refuse, Jose and Joyce Villalobos; 1423 11th, accumulation of trash/refuse, Amand and William Ritchie; 408 Plum, accumulation of trash/refuse, Lorenzo Soleto-Granadoz; and 216 Chestnut, accumulation of trash/refuse, Santiago Nunez.