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9:04 AM Tue, Nov. 20th

Kearny town manager finalist for Kingman's top job

Kearny, Ariz., town manager Gary Eide will be interviewed by the city council and mayor Tuesday May 22 for the city manager position in Kingman.

Eide has extensive experience as manger of cities in Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon and Arizona.

The largest city managed by Eide was the capitol city of Salem, Ore.

He managed the 1,400 city employees and a budget of $165 million in the Willamette Valley city of 150,000 people.

He has managed Kearny since 1997 following disastrous flooding of the Gila River that destroyed most of the city infrastructure.

"I took the Kearny job because it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rebuild public works from the ground up," Eide said.

"We built a new airport, a wastewater reclamation system, a new water wells system and a 92-acre lake and campground facility."

He left the Salem management position to become president of a family business that included a travel company and consulting in finance, budgeting, insurance and strategic planning.

"Kearny was having difficulty working through the rebuilding negotiations with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) and it was suggested that I apply," he said.

Kingman attracted him because the community is growing providing opportunity to grow with the community.

"Kingman has a great track record under the management of Lou Sorensen," Eide said.

"It is a stable situation with a strong staff to work with.

"I have spent most of my life in public administration in a number of communities and a lot of projects.

I know how to work with people and love the work."

Through his previous jobs Eide has worked with different people with different styles.

"I adjust to different situations and changing methods of decision making," he said.

"I have learned to communicate well with people, city councils, the staff and the media.

I have seen how things go together too for economic development, shopping centers, an arena and a convention center."

Eide was selected project manager of the year by the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona, outstanding citizen by the Mexico Mo., Jaycees, cited for outstanding service to the Missouri Municipal League and won a president's award for economic development.

"I still love the work and look forward to every Monday morning," Eide said.

"Managing a city is as much an avocation as an occupation."

The other finalists, Roger Swenson, Kingman's financial services director and Dennis Dalbeck, city manager in Williams, will be featured in the Thursday and Friday Miner.