Archive for Wednesday, August 6, 2003

New city administrator gets settled in Baldwin

August 6, 2003

Jeff Dingman has only been the Baldwin city administrator for a little more than a week, and he already has some goals he'd like to accomplish.

But he also knows he still has some things he needs to catch up on.

"There are a lot of things going on," Dingman said. "I'm just trying to get a handle on the different things that are happening."

Dingman, 32, a 1994 Baker University graduate, started as the new city administrator July 28, filling the vacancy left open in February by former city administrator Larry Paine, who accepted a city manager's position in Concordia.

Dingman, who is originally from Eudora, has a master's degree in public administration and a law degree from Kansas University. He came to Baldwin with his wife, Janel, and his 4-year-old stepdaughter, Hali, from Fort Smith, Ark., where he was an assistant county administrator for four years in Sebastian County, Ark.

He said his previous experiences will be beneficial in his new position, especially when building relationships with people.

"Local government in general, the way I understand it, is dealing with people," he said.

He spent much of his first week meeting city staff. He said he hopes to get a chance to meet much of the public in the next few weeks.

"I recognize the importance of meeting people," he said. "I do not want to isolate my self."

One of the first issues he said he would like to concentrate on is city personnel policies.

"I'd like to try to address personnel policies that need to be updated," he said.

Also top on his list, he said, is addressing economic development in Baldwin.

But on every item that needs attention, Dingman said, he will work with everyone involved.

"I plan on being a sounding board for the council, the citizens and the staff," he said.

He also hopes to offer a fresh, professional perspective in Baldwin.

"I hope the people get from me that I'll do my job in a professional way and have integrity when I do it," he said.

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