Paine resigns as Baldwin’s city administrator
Baldwin City Administrator Larry Paine announced last Wednesday that he would leave his position Feb. 21 to take a position in Concordia.
"It was a great opportunity that came along at a good time," Paine said.
Paine, who will be Concordia's new city manager, announced his decision to the Baldwin City Council Wednesday evening.
Paine came to Baldwin in 1998 from Cave Creek, Ariz., where he worked in the same role. Much of his tenure was designated to improving Baldwin's infrastructure.
"When Stan Krysztof and the council hired me, they said fix it," he said. "What I'm proud of is that it's fixed."
Some of his accomplishments have included improving Baldwin's electric and water services, but something he said he's most pleased with is bettering the town's financial situation.
"When I was hired, Baldwin didn't have any money. A whole lot of money went out the door without a whole lot of money replacing it," he said. "Now this city's financial situation is stable, it's secure. It's made an incredible rebound in four and a half years."
Council Member Todd Cohen said Paine's work has not gone unnoticed.
"Larry inherited a fairly big mess, particularly the city's budget and financial record-keeping," Cohen said. "Thanks to him and Peggy (Nichols, city clerk), those problems have been erased and we are in good shape. He should be proud of his accomplishments."
Paine is expected to start his new job in Concordia, 50 miles north of Salina, Feb. 24.
He said one of the things that attracted him to his new job is Concordia's stability as a town with a population of nearly 6,000.
"They're not telling me things are broken and they need to be fixed," he said. "I'm seeing a community that's very positive on itself. I'm seeing opportunities for growth because they need growth."
Even though he's excited about his new job, Paine said he will miss Baldwin.
"One thing that was very striking to me from day one was the support from the community," he said. "I know I pushed the envelope a lot, particularly when it related to electricity and taxes, but the level of support from the community has been tremendous."
He said he knows he is leaving a town that is much better off than it was five years ago.
"I know that this town is prepared for the future," he said. "The community is set for it. It's prepared."
Mayor Ken Hayes said finding Paine's replacement, which will proceed much like the recently completed search did for Baldwin's police chief, will take a few months. He said the job search will begin this week and a committee will be formed to find a new city administrator.
Hayes said Paine has contributed a lot to the city and he will be missed.
"He's accomplished quite a bit," he said. "He's had a dramatic impact on the city. We hate to lose him, but we wish him the best."