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Francis leaving Great Bend
City administrator taking job in Hutchinson
Kendal Francis
Kendal Francis

Great Bend City Administrator Kendal Francis said Friday morning he has accepted the city manager position in Hutchinson. However, it won’t be official until he signs the contract after the Hutchinson City Council approves it Tuesday night.

His resignation would be effective Friday, Jan. 6.

“It has been my distinct pleasure to represent you, our team, and this community for the past four years,” Francis said in his resignation letter to the Great Bend City Council. “During that period, we have helped heal a divided community, successfully navigated through a pandemic, provided for over $33 million in capital improvements to facilities and infrastructure, all while maintaining strong fiscal health, and thus positioning this city for a bright future.”

In the meantime, he said he plans to work with the council and the Executive Leadership Team to “plan for a smooth transition of projects, initiatives, and responsibilities in advance of my departure,” he said in the letter. “In recognition of the impact this decision will have on the organization, I strongly encourage you to rely upon the recommendations of these talented leaders to guide you in the days ahead. Their expertise and selfless commitment to this organization and to the good of this community are the foundations on which our success is built.”

According to the Hutchinson City Council agenda packet for next Tuesday, the agreement with Francis calls for a base salary of about $175,000 annually ($6,730.77 bi-weekly). In addition to vacation and other benefits, there will also be a $10,000 relocation allowance, a $500 monthly auto allowance and a $100 monthly cellphone allowance.

In a salary resolution approved by the Great Bend City Council in October, the salary range for a city administrator here spanned $114,206.40 up to $171,303.50 in 2023.

In Hutchinson, Francis will take over for Gary Meagher, who is the interim city manager.

In response to reports that Francis was leaving, Mayor Cody Schmidt said Friday morning there’s “a possibility he is moving on.”

“Yes, there is a possibility. We still have our own process to work through before anything becomes official,” he said.

An announcement was planned for Monday night’s City Council meeting, city officials said early Friday.

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, who filled in following the retirement of Howard Partington in August 2017 after holding the post for 36 years.