oisington City Manager Jonathan Mitchell Recognized by State Water Association
WICHITA Jonathan Mitchell, City Manager at Hoisington, has been recognized by the Kansas Rural Water Association as Municipal Manager of the Year. The award was presented this past week during the Association’s 47th Annual Conference & Exhibition. The conference, which was attended by nearly 2,300 people from more than 300 cities and 190 rural water districts, was held at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita.
Mitchell received his Bachelor and Master degrees from Kansas State University. He has been city manager at Hoisington for five years. His work with local organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Hoisington Main Street, Inc., and annual community celebrations have won him acclaim from the governing body and citizens.
“City staff members consider Jonathan to be an inspiration to the city -- and the mayor says that the citizens are very fortunate to have Jonathan in the lead,” commented Association General Manager Elmer Ronnebaum in announcing the award. He added, “Jonathan is concerned and dedicated to the city and his continued willingness to meet new challenges, whether that be with the electrical generation plant, or water or wastewater utilities, sets him apart.”
Mitchell has also gained the designation of credentialed manager from the international City/County Management Association (ICMA). He is one of 40 credentialed managers in the state of Kansas from the ICMA which encourages excellence in local governance by promoting professional management. Mitchell is also a graduate of the University of Kansas Certified Public Managers Program, a nationally-accredited program through which participants develop and strengthen their management skills through a competency-based curriculum.
Others recognized during the conference included the following: City Clerk Brenda Chance, city of Phillipsburg; Rural Water Manager Greg Drinovsky, Jackson County RWD 1; Municipal Wastewater Operator G. D. Hite, city of Abilene; Rural Water Manager Greg Drinovsky, Jackson RWD 1; Municipal Water Operator David Gerhke, city of Herington; Rural Water Office Manager Mary Jane Gouvion, Crawford County RWD 6; and, Rural Water Operator Dan Hoobler, Pottawatomie RWD 4. The Association gave special recognition to Ron Grage of Stuart, Florida for his many years of providing training concerning chlorine safety and chlorinator maintenance, and to Ned Marks, owner of Terrane Resources in Stafford, Kan., for work in addressing water well construction and groundwater protection. The Association also recognized Rural Water District No. 2 of Pottawatomie County as the most improved water system in the state. Public Wholesale District No. 4, which treats water from Bill Big Reservoir near Cherryvale, placed first in the "Best Tasting Water in Kansas" contest.
Technical sessions at the conference included 56 seminars on all aspects of water and wastewater utility operations and management and 327 exhibits of products and services for municipal water and wastewater utilities. Special guest speakers included John Padalino, Administrator of USDA Rural Development, Washington, D.C.; Tracy Streeter, Director of the Kansas Water Office, Topeka, and Charles Hilton, Exec. Vice-President of the National Rural Water Association.
The Kansas Rural Water Association provides training and technical assistance to cities and rural water districts and also supports a variety of other community programs from GPS mapping to the popular KAN STEP self-help program through the Department of Commerce. The Association is based in Seneca, KS and has a staff of 18 field techs and specialists who provide training and assistance to public water and wastewater utilities.