Council, mayor mum on progress in Topeka city manager search

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Another special meeting - and still no word whether Topeka is any closer to hiring a new city manager.

Council members and Mayor Larry Wolgast met Friday morning for a one-hour executive session.

Wolgast told 13 NEWS he understands people want action and is hopeful the governing body is closure to a decision, but the council wants to make sure they make the right choice. Wolgast said many people view it as the most important decision they'll make.

"We want to have the person with the appropriate philosophy, who supports many of the endeavors we're doing now but also perhaps has experience in areas that we don't have, that we haven't had," Wolgast said.

The city announced its five finalists for the position July 14, and brought them to Topeka for an interview process July 21 and 22. Council members have met several times since then to discuss their choice, but so far have not made public any decisions on narrowing their list.

Friday was the same. After the meeting, Wolgast declined to say what the next step might be.

The finalists are Brent Trout, city administrator of Mason City, Iowa; David Hales, city manager for Bloomington, Illinois; Doug Gerber, Topeka's interim city manager since James Colson left the position in October; Jason Gage, city manager for Salina, Kansas; and Jeffrey Dingman, deputy city administrator for Fort Smith, Arkansas.