Great Bend’s next interim city administrator is looking forward to a “quiet and uneventful” transition when he steps into the position on Oct. 9.
George R. Kolb, who has a six-month contract as interim administrator, visited Great Bend on Wednesday for a meet-and-greet at the City Office. After that, he had an appointment to look at potential housing. Kolb lives in Wichita but said he doesn’t plan to commute every day for a job that will require his presence here most of the time. He will be moving to Great Bend with his 4-year-old Golden Retriever, Gracie, and was pleased to learn about the dog park at Veterans Memorial Park.
Kolb was the assistant city manager of Surprise, Arizona (population 112,000) before he retired in 2012. Since then he has offered his expertise as an interim city administrator to Wentzville, Mo. (population 30,000) and Valley Center (population 6,822) in Sedgwick County.
“I’m looking forward to working with the city council, the mayor and the community, where we’ll maintain good city services,” Kolb said.
City Attorney Robert Suelter will continue to serve as interim administrator until Kolb’s first day. Suelter was appointed after the retirement of City Administrator Howard Partington in August.
Suelter said the search for a permanent city administrator won’t get underway before the Nov. 7 election. The next administrator will eventually have an assistant, he said. That position has not been filled since Assistant City Administrator Dawn Jaeger left in 2012.