KEARNEY – Members of Kearney City Council took their first steps on Tuesday in seeking to replace retired city manager Michael Morgan.
“This is going to be a tremendous opportunity for the right candidate,” said Art Davis, executive search specialist for Lee’s Summit, Missouri.
“We don’t want serial applicators,” said Davis, noting the amenities that will make Kearney an attractive city for research applicants: schools, health care, parks, the economy, and strong municipal government.
Davis, a former city manager, has 30 years of experience helping municipalities, counties and nonprofits fill their leadership positions. He is a director of the executive search arm of Baker Tilly, a large accounting and finance firm.
Davis described the forward timeline for the city manager’s search. He expects publicity and marketing for the position to begin in about two weeks, and Kearney’s new city manager will be working around mid-March.
Michael Morgan, who was Kearney’s top executive for 17 years, announced in July his intention to retire in early 2022. Morgan, 63, said he decided on the early announcement to facilitate leadership transition.
Mayor Stan Clouse said at the time of Morgan’s announcement that he intended the replacement process to be similar to that of 2005, when Morgan replaced Allen Johnson. Clouse said the process in 2005 was as open as possible for a personnel issue and involved opportunities for community members to meet with applicants and provide them with feedback.