LARNED — A city administrator who graduated from St. John High School has verbally agreed to a contract to serve as city manager of Larned, according to the Larned mayor.
Lane Massey, former director of administration for Arkansas City, has agreed to work for the city of Larned. He last worked for Arkansas City Jan. 17, 2011.
Larned Mayor Robert Pivonka said Massey has agreed to work for Larned, although Pivonka said no contract has officially been signed. He is expected to start June 27. Massey graduated from St. John in 1988 and earned a degree in political science at Kansas State University.He earned a master's degree is public administration at Wichita State University.
Massey worked under former city manager Steve Archer and current city manager Dick Chesney. Chesney told the Arkansas City Traveler that Massey’s position would not be filled during the next budget year as a cost-cutting measure.
Pivonka said Massey has worked with Arkansas City for more than seven years. He was primarily responsible for developing the budget for the city of Arkansas City.
“He appears to be quite knowledgeable from the standpoint of preparing budgets and the financial aspects of a city,” Pivonka said. “He brings a lot of experience in finance. Lane is a very calm person who visits well. It’s just a matter of getting acquainted with everyone.”
Current Larned city manager Don Gaeddert will work until July 1, giving him a week to tutor Massey.
The city of Larned was apparently fortunate to hire Massey, who was publicly identified as a candidate for a vacant position as Seward County administrator, which was offering in excess of $80,000 annually.
The League of Kansas Municipalities helped the city of Larned identify three viable candidates to be interviewed.
“We were very well pleased with the process and the three people we interviewed,” Pivonka said. “The people from the League of Municipalities did a remarkable job and were very accommodating.”
The Arkansas City Traveler reported that Massey resigned his position in Arkansas City and received a settlement package. The Traveler reported that Massey agreed to accept a $18,410 settlement for three months pay, as part of a confidential separation agreement before his resignation was announced publicly in December of 2010.
Under the terms of that agreement, Massey was scheduled to receive an additional $20,891 payment in
March, but Interim City Manager Dick Chesney later negotiated that down to $9,054 as part of a second
agreement that superseded the first one.
It also added a number of provisions to protect the city from future lawsuits or grievances and spelled out more
clearly the responsibilities of both parties.
Those clauses were lacking in the initial separation agreement, an omission to which several city commissioners
objected in interviews with The Arkansas City Traveler.
Massey is prevented by the agreement from ever seeking employment again with the City of Arkansas City.
He could not be reached for comment by Wednesday's deadline.
Andrew Lawson, Arkansas City Traveler contributed to the article