Archive for Thursday, October 19, 2006

Administrator settling in after six months on job

October 19, 2006

Six months into his job as Basehor city administrator, Carl Slaugh said it has provided him with familiar responsibilities and new opportunities.

"I've enjoyed the job very much since I've gotten here," he said. "A lot of things are similar, but there are a lot of new challenges."

On March 27, Slaugh became the second city administrator in Basehor history. He brought experience as the community development coordinator in Merriam, and, more recently, the city administrator in Hiawatha.

After four years in Hiawatha, a family decision brought Slaugh and his wife, Cheryl, closer to the Kansas City area. The next step will be to move within the Basehor city limits, which was one of the requirements of the position. Slaugh said construction on their home should be finished by the end of this month and they are excited to be moving to Basehor.

"We will get to see how things are for other people who have come and built their homes here, since we have a lot of development," Slaugh said.

Slaugh's busy days are filled with addressing concerns of residents and customers, providing information about development, researching topics for city council meetings and dealing with special projects.

"Right now I'm spending a lot of time on Hollingsworth Road," Slaugh said. "It's amazing how much coordination it takes to keep a project like that going."

Slaugh said the job has also had its fair share of challenges, such as figuring out all of the details involved in expanding the city's sewage treatment capacity, juggling the budget and updating agreements with the county.

"A lot of it is just learning the background of all the issues, so when you face a new issue, you know what has happened," he said.

When Slaugh arrived in Basehor, it was with the awareness he'd be dealing with growth-related challenges.

The city has experienced rapid residential growth and development in the past few years, while retail and industrial growth have needed a little more coaxing.

"One of the efforts we're trying to work on is putting ourselves in a position to handle some retail and industrial growth," Slaugh said. "We already have residential growth. We want to put together a committee to see what we can do to help develop that."

Slaugh said some of his other goals include building and maintaining a good relationship with the school district and dealing with citizens' issues on a more individual basis.

"One of the challenges in a city is to keep all of your residents happy," he said. "That's one of the things I try to do."

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