LARNED — A fast-paced first week has featured a crash course on the 2012 city budget and multiple meetings with various department heads.
Lane Massey’s first official week as Larned’s city manager has been eased by the presence of outgoing City Manager Don Gaeddert, who is leaving after 18 years on the job.
“Don is well respected in the state by his peers and it’s a privilege to get a chance to work with him,” Massey said. “It takes time to get to know everything that’s going on. It’s a blessing to have someone of Don’s stature and knowledge helping me.”
Massey said preliminary work on budgeting is actually a good time to appreciate all that goes into figuring a budget. Prebudget meetings are conducted with department heads and eventually the budget process will move to the city council. A public hearing for the 2012 budget will be heard at a later date.
“I’m getting up to speed on all the projects the city of Larned is involved in and we’re heavily involved in the budget work,” Massey said.
One city of Larned ongoing project is the electric connection to the power grid that involves hooking up with Midwest Energy.
The second major project is the Community Development Block Grant that will pave 13 blocks of unpaved roads in areas that qualify under specific economic conditions. The timetable is uncertain on the project that has Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing and Development input.
“It’s been good to bring Lane up to date. It’s good that Lane has hit the road running because we have a lot going on,” Gaeddert said. “We’re getting through the budget process and Lane already has a good understanding of the role the department heads have.”
Massey said it’s good that the city of Larned has no particular pressing issues and has been under solid stewardship.
“This is a great time to come in. Everything I’ve seen, the city of Larned is on solid ground and a lot of credit goes to Don Gaeddert and the city council,” Massey said. “I’ve met some great people asnd it’s obvious the city manager and city council has enjoyed a great working relationship. It’s been fast paced, but I have enjoyed meeting everyone and getting to know everyone’s name and what they do.”
Massey worked at director of administration for Arkansas City where he was responsible for developing the budget. He graduated from St. John High School in 1988 and earned a degree at Kansas State University.
Gaeddert will teach the English language at a Chinese university setting for freshmen and sophomore-level students who need to speak better English. The lure of helping others in a country where a stepson and two grandchildren reside is an opportunity that was too good to pass up in Nanchong China.
The missionary work is sponsored by the Mennonite Church. Their realtives, Stephen Stinemetz, his wife Yi, and two grandchildren reside in Shanghai, China.