August 2, 2014

Dillner to accept job in Abilene

Corbin H. Crable
chcrable@gardnernews.com
Edgerton City Administrator David Dillner tendered his resignation to Mayor Don Roberts earlier this week.
Dillner said in a phone interview Tuesday that he recently accepted a position as city manager of Abilene, Kan., adding that his last day as Edgerton city administrator could be as early as Feb. 7 or as late as the following week. Dillner’s contract states he must give a 30-day notice to the mayor, but Dillner himself said he has asked the mayor and council to allow him to serve for the next three weeks instead. It was not known by press time whether Dillner’s request had been granted.
Roberts said he was not completely surprised by Dillner’s resignation. Dillner was hired in February 2007 as Edgerton’s first city administrator, replacing City Clerk Rita Moore.
“The city hired him knowing that Edgerton was going to be a stepping stone (for Dillner). So he’s doing what we knew he was going to do,” Roberts said. “He’s moving to a larger town and will have more responsibilities and different problems to handle.”
Roberts praised Dillner’s performance with the city over the past four years.
“He’s a hard worker, and he’ll make a great city administrator,” Roberts said. “David’s done a great job of bringing us to where we are.”
Dillner said he will miss the city of Edgerton and its residents, but looks forward to a new challenge in the city that was once home to President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
“I leave with mixed feelings,” Dillner said. “Edgerton has a lot going for it and is moving forward. I don’t really want to leave it, but I see this as an opportunity to get different experiences and face different challenges.”
Roberts and the Edgerton City Council discussed the process and timeline for hiring Dillner’s replacement at the governing body’s Jan. 13 meeting. Look for that story in next Wednesday’s edition of The Gardner News.
Roberts said it is likely the city will hire a firm to conduct a nationwide search for Dillner’s replacement, and that in the meantime, the city will hire an interim city administrator. Roberts said on Tuesday he has “several names” under consideration but declined to disclose them.
Dillner has worked closely with Executive Consultant Mike Press in running the city – specifically, its involvement with the intermodal. Roberts said Press will continue to play a prominent role in city operations and the intermodal’s development. He said he is confident that whoever is hired to replace Dillner will continue to usher Edgerton into its next phase of growth as the intermodal’s arrival draws closer.
“Yes, someone will have a lot of homework to do to catch up on everything, but a lot of the work is done,” Roberts said. “We’re just going into the management phase of the intermodal. Inspections are set with the county, we have the county assisting the Planning Commission with how we want it to look, and we’ve set up plenty of (correspondence) with outside professionals. We should be moving forward without any hiccups. We have the framework – the only thing we’re lacking right now is the financing agreement with the state, and that’s being drafted right now.”
Dillner said he agreed that the transition should be smooth and said he believes Edgerton’s future will be bright.
“Obviously, the intermodal will change the landscape of the community and create an environment of prosperity for future generations,” Dillner said. “It’s also going to bring challenges, but I think we’re well-positioned to take advantage of that situation.”
Roberts said he has had a chance to see how a council-administrator form of government works for the city throughout the past four years, and that he wishes to continue that form of governing.
“We could not have come this far without a city administrator,” he said. “We have set Edgerton on a path that should be very prosperous, and that should continue into the coming years.”

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