LARNED — Mayor William Nusser spoke to The Great Bend Tribune on Monday, confirming the Larned City Council was aware of a bankruptcy filing last week by the new city manager, Bradley Eilts and his wife. The disclosed liabilities amounted to more than $387,000.
Nusser noted that the Kansas League of Municipalities did a great job conducting the background check on Eilts and other candidates for the position, and that the Larned City Council was aware of the family’s precarious financial condition when they arranged an interview by the council in March.
“It gave us an opportunity to ask questions,” Nusser said. That’s when they learned that with two of the couple’s three children needing high-dollar medical care, Eilts and his wife had exhausted all their resources, both in credit and in cash, to ensure they received life saving treatment. Eilts shared that out of pocket expenses mounted to more than $150,000, Nusser said.
He went on to say the council has been happy with Eilts’s performance, and that he had “hit the ground running.”
“This wasn’t a matter of poor personal management,” Nusser said. “Brad and his wife made the decision any of us would have made under similar circumstances. They did everything in their power to provide their children with the best possible medical care they could to save their lives, and we were impressed he was up-front with us about his situation and with his commitment to his family.”
The Larned City Council voted to extend a contract for employment to Eilts in April, after opting not to renew the contract with the former city manager, Lane Massey in December, 2016.
A report in the Hutchinson News, posted July 14, referred to an unidentified Larned councilmember who claimed to be unaware of the impending bankruptcy. In an email, Nusser stated all council members were given the opportunity to review any and all information provided by the League, as they were given the option to be included in discussions.