On March 11, from 5 to 6 p.m., at Gardner City Hall, the public will have an opportunity to meet and greet the three finalists for the Gardner city administrator position.
The three candidates are as follows:
• Nicholas Edwards, assistant city manager/City of Lee’s Summit, Mo.
• James Pruetting, chief of police/Gardner
• Brian Wilson, village administrator/Village of Belleville, Wisc;
Beginning at 5:30 p.m., each candidate will be given time to introduce themselves and share why they would like to serve as Gardner’s city administrator. Attendees will have an opportunity to anonymously provide input via comment cards that they will place in a secure comment box.
Candidates’ biographies and photos were not supplied by candidates, according to Daneeka Marshall-Oquendo; however, basic information was available on social media.
Edwards has worked for the City of Lee’s Summit for more than eight years, according to his social media. He is currently assistant city manager. Prior to that his positions included: director of administration; assistant to city manager, management analyst and public works management analyst. Edwards has a Masters in Public Administration from Missouri State University and his field of study was local government. He also has a bachelor’s degree in political socience and government from Missouri Southern State University.
Pruetting serves as chief of police for Gardner. Prior to being named Gardner Police Chief in Feb. 2015, Pruetting worked for 31 years in the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department. His background includes operational and budget management, policy development and improvement, labor relations,  strategic planning as well as training and development. He has a Masters of Science / Management from Baker University, according to his social media.
Wilson has a MSA degree from Southeast Missouri State University; and a bachelor’s of science in the field of criminal justice. He is an ICMA Credentialed Manager by the International City/County Management Association. He is administrator and statutory clerk and treasurer for a village of 2,401 people located in close proximity to Madison, Wisc. He answers to a village president and six board members elected on a non-partisan basis. Wilson manages a $5.5 million total budget with 17 full-time and nine part-time and seasonal employees, according to his social media.
The League of Kansas Municipalities posted the city administrator position on numerous professional sites. The selection committee will consist of the mayor, city council president and vice president, three citizens (one selected by each of the remaining council members), Gardner Edgerton chamber board representative, Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corporation representative, USD 231 school board representative, Johnson County Fire District No. 1 representative, and Laura Gourley, interim city administrator.
The city expects to hire someone in April.
Immediately following the meet-and-greet, the city council will hold a special meeting to conduct interviews with the finalists. This will take place during an executive session. No action will be taken at this meeting.
Cheryl Harrison-Lee, former administrator, resigned in September, 2018.
A quorum of the city of Gardner governing body may attend the meet-and-greet.